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Volume 7 No 1 Spring 1986 

Grace Theological Journal 

Published Semiannually by 

Grace Theological Seminary 

200 Seminary Dr. 

Winona Lake, IN 46590 

Editorial Board: Homer A. Kent, Jr., President 

Jerry Young, Chairman of the Board of Trustees 
E. William Male, Dean 

Editorial Committee: John C. Whitcomb, Editor 

John J. Davis, Assistant Editor 

Associate Editors: 
D. Wayne Knife, Old Testament 
Charles R. Smith, Theology 
John A. Sproule, New Testament 
Donald L. Fowler, Book Reviews 
David L. Turner, Managing Editor 

D. Brent Sandy, Business Manager 

David L. Zapf, Editorial Assistant 
David C. Baker, Editorial Assistant 
Peggy Helmick, Secretary 

Grace Theological Journal began sertliannual publication in 1980 superseding the 
earlier Grace Journal which was published by the Seminary from 1960-73. GTJ is 
indexed in Christian Periodical Index, Elenchus Bibliographicus Biblicus, New Testa- 
ment Abstracts, Old Testament Abstracts, Religion Index One, and Religious and 
Theological Abstracts. 

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Theological Journal, Box 364, Grace Theological Seminary, 200 Seminary Dr., 
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of the page only, and should conform to the requirements of the Journal of Biblical 
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contradistinction to JBL. 

ISSN 0198-666X. Copyright© 1986 Grace Theological Seminary. All rights reserved. 



Volume 7 No 1 Spring 1986 


The Classification of Subjunctives: A Statistical Study . . 3-19 


Qoheleth: Enigmatic Pessimist or Godly Sage? 21-56 


The Waters of the Earth: An Exegetical Study of 
Psalm 104:1-9 57-80 


The Single Intent of Scripture — Critical Examination of a 
Theological Construct 81-110 


Classical Apologetics: A Rational Defense: A Review 
Article 111-123 


Book Reviews (see inside back cover) 125-160 


David G. Barker 

Old Testament Department, London Baptist Seminary, 30 Grand 
Ave., London, Ontario N6C 1K8, CANADA 

James L. Boyer 

Professor Emeritus, Grace Theological Seminary, 200 Seminary 
Dr., Winona Lake, IN 46590 

Ardel B. Caneday 

P.O. Box 626, King City, MO 64463 

Raju D. Kunjummen 

37049 Calka Dr., Sterling Heights, MI 48077 

George J. Zemek, Jr. 

Theology Department, Grace Theological Seminary, 200 Semi- 
nary Dr., Winona Lake, IN 46590 

Grace TheologicalJoumall A (1986) 3-19 




James L. Boyer 

Besides providing statistical information not easily available else- 
where and offering supporting elements within each classified use, 
this study seeks to explore two related subjects which are clarified by 
this inductive study. They are (I) the parallel between the 'iva + sub- 
junctive construction and the infinitive, and (2) the occurrence of 
future indicatives in many instances where aorist subjunctives might 
have appeared. Both of these are significant to the exegete. 


IT is not within the intended scope of this article to deal with the 
theoretical question of the primary significance of the subjunctive 
mood or with the question of its historical origin and development. I 
begin with the basic understanding that the subjunctive mood ex- 
presses some doubtfulness, contingency, or uncertainty by reason of 
futurity. My purpose is to classify the various constructions in which 

* Informational materials and listings generated in the preparation of this study 
may be found in my "Supplemental Manual of Information: Subjunctive Verbs." Those 
interested may secure this manual through their local library by interlibrary loan from 
the Morgan Library, Grace Theological Seminary, 200 Seminary Dr., Winona Lake, 
IN 46590. Also available is "Supplemental Manual of Information: Infinitive Verbs." 
This augments my article "The Classification of Infinitives: A Statistical Study" GTJ 6 
(1985) 3-27. I plan to prepare other supplemental manuals as time permits, beginning 
with one on participles. 

This study is one of several published in GTJ on related aspects of the grammar of 
the Greek NT: (1) "Project Gramcord: A Report" (1 [1980] 97-99); (2) "First Class 
Conditions: What Do They Mean?" (2 [1981] 75-114); (3) "Second Class Conditions 
in New Testament Greek" (3 [1982] 81-88); (4) "Third (and Fourth) Class Conditions" 
(3 [1982] 163-75); (5) "Other Conditional Elements in New Testament Greek" (4 [1983] 
173-88); (6) "The Classification of Participles: A Statistical Study" (5 [1984] 163-79); 
and (7) "The Classification of Infinitives: A Statistical Study" (6 [1985] 3-27). 


the subjunctive appears in the Greek NT, providing statistical informa- 
tion about these structures in general, and about many of the elements 
which appear in them. The system of classification is the traditional 
one found in most grammars. 


Hortatory Subjunctive 

Usually named first of these independent or main verb uses of 
the subjunctive is the hortatory subjunctive, in which "the speaker 
is exhorting others to join him in the doing of an action,"' as in 
1 John 4:7: 'Aya7rr|Toi, dya7i(0|isv bXk^koxic^ / 'Beloved, let us love 
one another'.^ Thus it serves to supply the deficiency of the imperative 
mood which like English has no first person forms. ^ It is almost 
always in the plural (66 of 69 occurrences); the three exceptions seem 
to express a slightly different sense. Rather than an exhortation ad- 
dressed to self there is an invitation to someone else to permit the 
speaker to do something, as in Luke 6:42 (= Matt 7:4); 'A5s?L(p8, 
a(p8(; £K|3dXoL) to Kotpcpog to 8v tw 6(p9a>t|xcp aou / 'Brother, let me 
take out the speck that is in your eye'. The other example of a first 
person singular is Acts 7:34, with similar meaning. 

The example just given also illustrates another frequent char- 
acteristic of the hortatory subjunctive: the use of an introductory 
imperatival word immediately before the subjunctive. The words so 
used in the NT (and their frequencies) are dcpsc; (3), dcpsTe (1), SeuTS 
(3), and 5supo (1)."* The first two are aorist imperatives but function 
as mere hortatory particles. The last two are adverbial particles, with 
the ending inflected as if to show their imperatival nature. All four 
function elsewhere as equivalents of a full imperative.^ 

Deliberative Subjunctive 

The subjunctive is also used in deliberative questions, in which a 
person asks himself or another what he is to do,^ as in Matt 6:31 ti 

'H. p. v. Nunn, A Short Syntax of New Testament Greek (Cambridge: Cambridge 
University, 1951)82. 

^Unless stated otherwise the translation of biblical examples is from NASB. 
A. T. Robertson, A Grammar of the Greek New Testament in the Light of 
Historical Research (Nashville: Broadman, 1934) 93. 

■"This usage also characterized this construction in classical Greek, using aye, (psps, 
or SeOpo. It continues in modern Greek in aq (shortened from acpei;). 

5BAGD, 125, 176. 

^Nigel Turner, Syntax, vol. 3 of ^ Grammar of New Testament Greek by J. H. 
Moulton (Edinburgh: T. & T. Clark, 1963) 98. 

boyer: the classification of subjunctives 5 

(pdyconsv / 'What shall we eat?' Not all examples are deliberative, 
however, and BDF expands the title to "the Doubtful [Dubitative] or 
Dehberative Subjunctive' (cf. Matt 23:33: n&q (puyrixe; / 'How shall 
you escape?'). The use of the subjunctive in these sentences points to 
the doubtful, hesitating quality of subjective consideration. 

Normally questions in the subjunctive use first person, singular 
or plural (57 of 102), but when these questions are quoted indirectly 
the first person may change to second or third. Even beyond this 
there are a few instances where the deliberation is not with one's self, 
but advice is being asked from another party. Mark 6:24 (xi aiTf|- 
acojiai; / 'What shall I ask for?') does not mean that Herodias is 
deliberating with herself — rather she is asking her mother's advice. 
Matt 27:22 is a similar case. 

These may be simple questions or introduced by an interrogative 
pronoun or adverb, such as ti (54), xic, (1), n&c, (18), ttoO (6), otcou 
(2), TioGsv (1), and ttoioc; (1). Five times the indirect question is pre- 
ceded by the substantivizing article. 

The deliberative question (as the hortatory subjunctive) may be 
preceded by an introductory word, i.e., QeXeic,, QeXexe, or Pou?L8aGs 
(as in classical). If these are thought of as proper verbs the subjunctive 
clause then would be an object clause replacing the frequent infinitive 
object. But the absence of a conjunction and the parallel with the 
introductory hortatory particles make it at least possible to consider 
these as compressed, deliberative, double questions, as in Matt 20:32 
Ti QeXsxe 7roif|O(0 \)\xiv j 'What do you want? What shall I do for 
you?'8 (In 1 Cor 4:21 the editors of the UBSGNT ewen punctuate the 
sentence as two questions.) 

There are other ways to express the deliberative question. (1) The 
future indicative is used, as in Luke 22:49; Rom 3:5; 4:1; 9:14. In 
Luke 11:5 the future indicative is used first, followed by two sub- 
junctives, each connected with the future indicative by Kai. (2) Even 
the present indicative is used, as in John 11:45. (3) A paraphrastic 
construction using 58i or 5i3va|iai plus an infinitive may also be used, 
as in Matt 12:34; Acts 16:30. 

Aorist Prohibition 

Strange as it may seem to the beginning Greek student, the use 
of the subjunctive instead of the imperative in aorist prohibitions is 
native to Greek from earliest times. Robertson says, "It seems clear 

^BDF, 185. 

8My translation; NASB renders this subjunctive as if it were an infinitive object 
clause: 'What do you wish me to do for you?' 


that originally both in Sanskrit and Greek prohibition was expressed 
only by the subj. Hence the growth of the imperative never finally 
displaced it."^ In the NT as in classical Greek these negative com- 
mands are almost always in the subjunctive mood when they use the 
aorist tense. The exceptions are few'° and there seems to be no clear 
difference in sense. All of them are third person, but there are also 6 
examples where third person aorist prohibitions are in the subjunctive 

Since these subjunctives are substitutes for the imperative, a con- 
sideration of them will be included in a later study of that mood. 
Here it may be sufficient to point out that they sometimes occur with 
an introductory opa or opaie, as in classical and parallel to intro- 
ductory words with hortatory and deliberative subjunctives. The 
prohibition is introduced by |af| or one of its compounds. 

Emphatic Future Negation 

The sense of this construction is clear; the most emphatic way to 
say that something shall not happen in the future is to use ou \if\ with 
the subjunctive mood. But it is not so clear by what process this 
construction arose, nor why it means what it does. The subjunctive 
does not naturally express such certainty, and the doubling of the 
simple negative might seem to make an affirmative, but the case is 
not so simple. The grammarians review the theories with varying 
conclusions." I prefer to think of it as a form of litotes; i.e., the 
second negative {\ix\) negates the subjunctive verb and together they 
express a doubtful idea; the first negative (ou) negates the doubtful 
clause introduced by |if|. As a whole the clause communicates that 
"there is no doubt about it; it is not an uncertain matter." 

The first negative in two instances is a strengthened form of ou 
(ouxi, Luke 18:30; oi)5e. Rev 7:16); in two it is preceded by a doubling 
ou5£(Luke 10:19; Heb 13:4). 

This category of subjunctive use is not limited to the independent 
or main clause classification. It may appear anywhere an indicative 
might appear, in on substantive clauses (1 1), in relative clauses (9), or 
in object clauses (1). In Mark 13:2 it occurs both in the main clause 
and in the subordinate relative clause. 

'Robertson, Grammar, 84 L 

'"There are 8 aorist imperatives with |ifi as compared with 88 subjunctives. One is 
in Matt 6:3; the other 7 are in 3 parallel passages of the synoptic gospels. Matt 24:17- 
18 = Mark 13:15-16 = Luke 17:31. 

I'Cf. Robertson, Grammar, 929; J. H. Moulton, Prolegomena, vol. 1 oi A Gram- 
mar of NT Greek (Edinburgh: T. & T. Clark, 1906) 188ff. 

boyer: the classification of subjunctives 7 

Not strictly within the present scope of study but closely related 
to a major item to be dealt with later is the occurrence of this con- 
struction with the future indicative instead of the subjunctive.'" 

Doubtful Assertion or Cautious Statement 

Is the subjunctive ever used in the New Testament to express 
doubtful assertion — what we express in English by "I may do it"? It 
would seem to be a natural sense, but the answer is not clear. Classical 
Greek grammars speak of such a use; for example, "the present sub- 
junctive with \n\ may express a doubtful assertion, with |if| ou a 
doubtful negation."'^ Turner says it is "rare in the NT"''* and cites 
three possible examples. Matt 25:9 has a variant reading \x.f\Tioxz ouk 
dpKear) which then could be read 'Perhaps there might not be suf- 
ficient for us and you'. The edited text has instead the oi) \iy\ + sub- 
junctive construction, 'No, there will not be enough for us and you 
too'. The second example is 1 Thess 5:15 which seems most naturally 
to be a simple prohibitive subjunctive, 'See that no one repays another 
with evil for evil'. If it is indeed a subjunctive of cautious statement 
the meaning might be, 'Look, someone might repay with evil', a 
rather unlikely choice. The third example is 2 Tim 2:25, an admittedly 
difficult sentence: |if|7roT£ Scot) auxoiq 6 ^zbq ^cxdvoiav / 'if perhaps 
God may grant them repentance'. This translation in NASB could be 
proper for a subjunctive of cautious statement, but NASB marginal 
note points to Acts 8:22 as a parallel in sense, where the grammatical 
structure is entirely different. Turner translates the phrase 'perhaps 
God will give'. BAGD makes it elliptical, involving an imbedded 
deliberative question: '(seeing) whether God may perhaps grant'. '^ At 
any rate, this may possibly be the only example of a subjunctive of 
doubtful assertion in the NT. 

the subjunctive in dependent clauses 

By far the more frequent use of the subjunctive mood is in de- 
pendent or subordinate clauses.'^ 

'2There are 13 examples: MaU 15:6; 16:22; 26:35; Mark 13:31; 14:31; Luke 21:33; 
John 4: 14; 6:35; 10:5; Gal 4:30; Heb 10:17; Rev 9:6; and 18:14. Variant readings would 
provide more. 

'3H. W. Smyth, Greek Grammar for Schools and Colleges (New York: American 
Book Co., 1916)297. 

I '♦Turner, Syntax, 98. 

I5BAGD, 519. 

'^81. 5%, or 1513 instances to 344 in "main verb" clauses. Even this is not an 
accurate representation, for as I have shown above in dealing with the independent 


In Final (Purpose! Result) Clauses 

The largest group of dependent subjunctives is found in final 
clauses, those expressing purpose or result, or, as they are referred to 
in some grammars, telic or ecbatic.''' One example is Rom 5:20: vofioc; 
58 7tap£iafi?i9sv I'va nXeovdari to 7rapdTCTC0|ia / 'And the Law came 
in that the transgression might increase'. These clauses are introduced 
by a variety of conjunctive expressions: I'va (405), I'va jif) (91), I'va 
liTiSe (1), I'va firiSsig (2), i'va \v(\tioxz (1) (total with i'va 500); |xf| (3), 
Hf| rrox; (5), lifiTioxe (25) (total with |if| 33); ottco^ (33), otkoc; civ (5), 
OTnaq )j,f| (3) (total with othhc, 41). These are all consistent with older 
Greek usage, except that the i'va clause is greatly extended because it 
so often serves as a paraphrasis for the infinitive,'^ and oticlx; has lost 

The same lack of distinction between purpose and result is to be 
seen in these clauses as with the infinitives of purpose,'^ though in 
most cases the context makes the sense clear. The vast majority are 
true purpose clauses (97%). There are four examples where the sense 
clearly seems to be result,^° one of which is especially difficult to 
understand if it expresses purpose: John 9:2: 'Pappt, xig finapisv, . . . 
I'va ti)(p?l6(; yevvriOri; / 'Rabbi, who sinned . . . that he should be born 
blind?' In 12 instances^' I have considered the matter undecided, al- 
though I would lean toward their being result. The Hst of those cases 
which are not clearly purpose or result could be greatly expanded. 

Another parallel with the infinitive of purpose is the frequent use 
of these subordinate purpose clauses after intransitive verbs of motion, 
and almost without exception the same verbs are involved (dvaPaivco, 
KaxaPatvco, and epxo|Liai and its compounds). Also transitive verbs 
(like d7tooTe?i?i(o and Tis^Troo) use the subjunctive purpose clause and 
the infinitive of purpose interchangeably. 

In Substantival or Noun Clauses 

These noun clauses will be treated next because they are closely 
related to the final clauses — they are not second in frequency of 

uses, many of them were found within subordinate clauses, particularly in the delibera- 
tive where the question is being quoted indirectly and in emphatic negation which may 
appear in any clause. 

1^38%, or 574 of 1513. 

I8BDF, 196-202. 

'^Cf. my article, "The Classification of Infinitives: A Statistical Study," GTJ 6 
(1985) 10-12. 

20John 9:2; 1 Cor 7:29; Phil 1:26; and 1 Thess 5:4. 

2'Matt 23:26, 35; Luke 9:45; 11:50; 12:36; 16:26 (2); John 4:36; 6:5; Rom 11:11; 
2 Thess 3:14; and 2 Tim 1:4. 

boyer: the classification of subjunctives 9 

occurrence. ^^ Indeed, they are identical with the final clauses in form, 
using the same conjunctive phrases and the same subjunctive mood. 
Until NT Greek was recognized as a part of Koine Hellenistic Greek 
rather than of older, classical Greek, grammarians and commentators 
went to great pains to insist that these must be interpreted as telic. 
Now they are recognized as a legitimate idiom of the language of that 
time and are treated separately. 

The following conjunctive phrases are used in these nominal 
clauses: iva (198), I'va )if| (15), I'va jiriSelc; (2) (total with I'va 215); |xf| 
(16), |if| 7I0U (1), |if| 7r(0(; (4), ^f|7roxs (3) (total with |ifi 24); ottcoc; (14). 
Like the final clauses from which they were derived, these nominal 
clauses most frequently function in places where infinitives could have 
been used. 

As Subject 

There are 19 subjunctives in subject nominal clauses. Ten are 
subjects of an impersonal verb (aujicpepei [9] or ?iuoiT£X,si [1]), as in 
John 16:7: au|i(pspei i)|iiv I'va sycb anEXQai / 'it is to your advantage 
that I go away'. Four are subjects of the copulative verb eaiiv 
(whether expressed [3] or understood [1]), as in Matt 10:25: apKexov 
xdb |ia9r|Tfi i'va ysvrixai cue, 6 5i5daKa>tO(; auxoO / Tt is enough for the 
disciple that he become as his teacher'. Five are subjects of a passive 
verb (5i6co|j,i [2], ypdcpco [2], or ^riisco [1], as in 1 Cor 4:2: ^rixsiTai sv 
Tolc, oiKov6(ioi(; I'va nicyxoq tic, eupsGfj / Tt is required of stewards 
that one be found trustworthy'. Elsewhere the infinitive is used com- 

As Object 

A very large number of subjunctives appear in clauses which 
function as the object of a verb. These will be classified according to 
the different types of verbs which have these clauses as objects. 
Robertson says that these clauses are "found with verbs of striving, 
beseeching, commanding, fearing. "^^ I will follow that pattern, but 
supplement it by calling attention to the close parallels with object 

With Verbs of Striving. The first category includes verbs which 
express effort to bring about an action ('to attempt', 'to accomplish', 
'to cause', 'to plan', etc.), as in John 11:53: ciTr' sksivti^ ouv Tf\c, 
fijiepa;; 8pou?isuaavTO i'va dTroKxsivcoaiv auxov / 'So from that day 

22There are 251 instances (17%), making them fourth in frequency. 
"Robertson, Grammar, 991. 


on they planned together to kill Him'. There are 28 which use a I'va 
clause as object: Tioieco* ('to cause', 7), sToi|id^(0 (3), liGrnii ('to 
appoint', 3), dYa?L}iidco (2), dyyapeuco (2), Pou^isuo) (2), 5iaTi0r||ii (2), 
TTSiGco ('to persuade', 2), aunPouXeuco* (2), dvaosico (1), ^r|A.6co (1), 
and ^r|T8(o* (1); (total 28). Compare this group with the second 
category of complementary infinitives. Those marked with the asterisk 
also use the infinitive object (three more [Hsted below] have cognates 
which use the infinitive). 

With Verbs of Wishing. QeXca is the only verb of wishing which 
uses the I'va clause as object, e.g., 1 Cor 14:5: Gs^ico 58 Trdvxa^ b^iac, 
}ia?i8iv yX6)oaaic„ |id>t}iov 5s i'va 7rpo(pr|T8ur|T8 / 'Now I wish that 
you all spoke in tongues, but even more that you would prophesy'. 
QiXd) is used this way 8 times; there are 3 elliptical constructions in 
which 0s?ico probably should be supplied. This usage is parallel to my 
first category of complementary infinitives which includes QeXm with 
other verbs of similar meaning. Note that in the example cited the 
same verb has both an infinitive and a I'va clause complement. 

With Verbs of Permitting. 'Acpirifii more frequently uses a 
complementary infinitive construction, but the i'va clause can express 
the same sense, as in Mark 11:16: Kai ouk fjcpiev I'va tk; 5isvsYKri 
aKsOoc; 5id xoij lepoO / 'And He would not permit anyone to carry 
goods through the temple'. In the other example included in this 
classification, 5i5(0|ii (Mark 10:37) occurs in the sense of "to give [the 
privilege] to [do something], to grant, to permit." The i'va clause 
describes the gift which they were seeking permission to have. This 
use parallels the third category of complementary infinitives. 

With Verbs of Beseeching. There are 64 subjunctives in this 
category. As object clauses of these verbs they express the content of 
the thing asked or sought and are thus a kind of indirect discourse, as 
in Col 1:9: 7rpoosi)x6|i8voi Kai aiiounsvoi I'va 7t}tr|pco0fiTS xfiv sm- 
yvcooiv Tou Q&Xr]]xaToq auxoO / 'to pray for you and to ask that you 
may be filled with the knowledge of His will'. The following con- 
junctions are used: I'va (49), I'va |if| (6), and oncoc, (9). The verbs 
which use this construction are 7rapaKa?isco* (21), Trpooeuxofiai* (16), 
spcoxdco* (15), Sso^ai* (6), aixeojiai* (2), and 4 other instances where 
there is ellipsis requiring that "pray" or "ask" be supplied. 

With Verbs of Commanding. The object clause uses the sub- 
junctive (also a form of indirect discourse) to express the content of 
the command 33 times, as in Luke 4:3: 8i7rs xco XiQca xoCxq) iva 
ysvrixai apxoc, / 'tell this stone to become bread'. The verbs with 
which the subjunctive is so used are elnov* ('to command', not simply 
'to say') (6), s7rixi|idco (6), 5iaaxsX>.a) (4), ypdcpo)* (4), >tsyco* (3), 

boyer: the classification of subjunctives 11 

dTrayYeXX-O)* (1), ^aXX(£> (1), 5ianapTijpo|iai* (1), 8|i(paivto (1), sv- 
xeXXdi* (1), e^opKi^co (1), Kripuaaco* (1), iraiSsuco (1), TtapayYe^t^iO)* 
(1), and auvxlGrif^i (1). The conjunction is almost always I'va (28), or 
one of its negatives, I'va ^r\ (2), I'va jiriSeig (2), or onox; (1). 

It should be noted that this object clause with a subjunctive verb 
is used only when it would have been a command or request in a 
direct quotation, or in the imperative mood. It is not used with an 
indirectly quoted simple statement, which would usually be on with 
the indicative. The infinitive of indirect discourse may be used with 
either statements or commands. Thus I'va with the subjunctive is 
equivalent to some infinitives, on with the indicative is equivalent to 
some infinitives, but a I'va clause is never equivalent to a on clause. 
The mood is significant — nominal clauses use the subjunctive when 
they refer to something indefinite, doubtful, subjective, potential, or 

With Verbs of Fearing, Apprehension. A group of verbs which 
express fear, warning, or apprehension, often in English followed by 
'lest', may express the ground for that apprehension by a nominal 
clause with a subjunctive verb,'^ as in Acts 5:26: 8(poPouvTO yap xov 
>.a6v, i^fi >iiOaaG(baiv / 'for they were afraid of the people, lest they 
be stoned'. The conjunction characteristically used is \xr\ (15), but 
these occur also: |if|7rox8 (3), \Lr\ nax; (4), )if| no\) (1), and even I'va (3) 
and I'va |if| (1) occur with (3>i87ra). The verbs used are (3X,s7ico ('watch 
out for') (11), (popsofiai* (10), STiiaKOTrsco (2), Tipoaexw* (2), and 
aKOTiew (1). In one instance the governing verb should be supplied, 
probably with ^Xtnai. 

As Limiting or Epexegetic 

A nominal clause with a subjunctive verb often explains or hmits 
another substantive (a use termed 'epexegetic' when used of an infini- 
tive). The substantive so described may be noun, an adjective, or a 

Limiting a Noun. The I'va clause can define the meaning or 
application of a noun, as with s^ouaia in Mark 1 1:28: xic, ooi eScokev 
TTiv e^oualav I'va xaOxa noific;; / 'who gave You this authority to do 

^''This has also been seen in indirect questions; they normally use the indicative, 
but when they are deliberative in nature they preserve the subjunctive. 

"The indicative also is used with this construction. "Mf| in an expression of 
apprehension is combined in classical with the subjunctive if the anxiety is directed 
towards warding off something still dependent on the will, with the indicative of all 
tenses if directed towards something which has already taken place or is entirely 
independent of the wiH"(BDF, 188). 


these things?' The conjunctions used are I'va (30) and otkhc, (4). This 
usage is parallel to the epexegetic infinitive, and 8 of the 16 nouns so 
described also use the infinitive construction. 

Limiting an Adjective. The subjunctive can be used in a clause 
to limit an adjective, as in John 1:27: oO ouk si|xi [eyd)] oi^ioq I'va 
A-uaco auToO xov i\iavxa toO i)7ro5f|fxaTO(; / 'The thong of whose sandal 
I am not worthy to untie'. The adjective a^iO(; is related to 'untying'. 
The conjunction is always i'va (6). Three of the 4 adjectives so limited 
also occur with the epexegetic infinitive (the fourth occurs in its 
negative form). 

Limiting a Pronoun. A subjunctive clause can also limit a pro- 
noun, as in John 17:3: amr\ 58 saiiv f) aitt)vi0(; ^cof|, iva yivcbaKcoaiv 
as / 'And this is eternal life, that they may know Thee'. The iva 
clause stands in apposition to and is explanatory of the pronoun 
aCxri. The conjunctions used are I'va (28), I'va |Lif| (1), and |ir| (1). The 
pronoun in each case is oOxoc;. This same construction also uses the 
infinitive frequently. 

In Indefinite Clauses 

"Ordinary relative clauses simply define more exactly a definite 
antecedent, and take the construction and negative of simple sen- 
tences."^^ Thus the mood is indicative and the negative used is ou. 
But when the antecedent is indefinite the relative is accompanied 
characteristically by the indefinite modal particle av or edv and the 
mood is subjunctive. These indefinite relative clauses are usually ex- 
pressed in English by adding '-ever' to the relative: whoever, when- 
ever, wherever, etc. Strictly speaking the term includes the clauses 
introduced by the relative adverbs of time, place, etc., and in this 
larger connotation they comprise the second largest category of sub- 
junctive usage. ^'^ For clarity, I will deal with them in several cate- 
gories, using the term 'indefinite relative clauses' for those introduced 
by a relative pronoun. Those using relative adverbs of time, place, 
etc., will be labeled accordingly. 

2^Smyth, Grammar, 359. 

2'J. Greshem Machen, in his New Testament Greek for Beginners (New York: 
MacMillan, 1950) 175, says "This is one of the commonest uses of the subjunctive," 
and includes among his examples one indefinite relative clause of place. The actual 
counts are: indefinite relative 137, indefinite temporal 205, indefinite locational 10, 
indefinite comparative 6; total 358 or about 24%. Many grammarians term this con- 
struction "conditional relative clause," drawing very precise analogies between it and 
the various patterns of formal conditional clauses. See my discussion in "Other Con- 
ditional Elements," (77/4 (1983) 183-84, esp. n. 29. 

boyer: the classification of subjunctives 13 

Indefinite Relative Clauses 

Indefinite relative clauses characteristically use a subjunctive and 
are introduced by a relative pronoun with the indefinite particle, as in 
1 John 4:15 6c, sdtv b^oXoyr\or\ on 'IriaoC(; saxiv 6 mbc, loO 9eo0 / 
'Whoever confesses that Jesus is the Son of God'. The pronouns used 
are the simple relative 6q (110), the correlative oaoc; (14), or the 
indefinite relative oatK; (12). The indefinite particles used are av (82) 
or sdv (51).^* In the 3 cases where an indefinite particle is absent, the 
pronoun itself is indefinite. ^^ 

Indefinite Temporal Clauses 

Clauses expressing time constitute a second type of indefinite 
relative clause which uses the subjunctive mood. The time referred to 
is indefinite or unknown, always future to the viewpoint of the 
speaker, as in Matt 2:13: Kai l'o0i skei eoic, av cI'tko ooi / 'and remain 
there until I tell you'. There is a great variety of introductory expres- 
sions, including conjunctions, temporal adverbs, and improper preposi- 
tions with a genitive relative pronoun as object. ^° Most of them 
include the indefinite particle dv or edv. The actual combinations are 
as follows: oxav (124), eccx; (12), scoq dv (20), stog ou (14), ewg otou 
(4), dxpi (4), dxpi f]q (1), dxpi ou (2), dxpig o5 (3), dxpi<; ou dv (1), 
\L£Xpi (1), ^£XP^ o\) (2), 87idv (3), oadKK; sdv (4), caq dv (3), d(p' oO 
dv (3), fiviKtt dv (1), f)viKa edv (1), and npiv f\ dv (1). 

A large number of temporal clauses uses the indicative mood, 
including some which are introduced by the same conjunctive phrases 
used to introduce the subjunctive. When a temporal clause refers to 
definite or known time the normal mood is indicative. When the time 
is indefinite or uncertain because it is still future or not yet known the 
normal mood is subjunctive. 

Indefinite Local Clauses 

In a few instances clauses introduced by relative adverbs of place 
use the subjunctive, as in Mark 14:14: otiou edv 8ia8>^0T) einaxe xw 
oiKoSsoTioxTi / 'wherever he enters, say to the owner of the house'. 
The adverbs used are ottou (9) and ov (1); in every instance it is 
followed by the indefinite particle edv (9) or dv (1). 

28Cf. Moulton, Prolegomena, 423; BDF, 57; and Robertson, Grammar, 190-91. 

296aTig in James 2:10 (twice); in Heb 8:3 the antecedent of the relative is an 
indefinite pronoun. 

^°T\q, antecedent r\[iipac,; oh, antecedent xpovou (supplied); and oxou (gen. of 


Indefinite Comparative Clauses 

Comparative clauses almost always use the indicative mood, but 
two passages (using 6 verbs) have the comparative particle wg fol- 
lowed by the subjunctive. 1 Thess 2:7 has cdq sdv which clearly is 
indefinite and understandably takes the subjunctive. In Mark 4:26 &>€, 
is followed by 4 subjunctive verbs and the indefinite particle is missing 
in the earliest manuscripts.^' BAGD^^ calls this "gravely irregular fr. a 
grammatical viewpoint" and suggests textual corruption. BDF points 
out the need for "the indispensable sdv or oxav."" But Robertson^"* 
argues that sdv is not indispensable with the subjunctive (for example, 
temporal wc; in some manuscripts of Gal 6:10) and claims that the 
subjunctive alone makes it indefinite. 

In Third Class Conditional Clauses 

The third largest group (328, or 21.7%) of subordinate subjunc- 
tives occurs in the protasis of the simple future condition which char- 
acteristically is introduced by sdv or dv and has its verb in the 
subjunctive. The mood reflects accurately the basic significance of 
this construction, that of potentiality or indefiniteness by reason of 
futurity.35 This construction is usually introduced by sdv (24 1),^^ sdv 
lifj (63), dv (4), Kdv (13), sdvTrsp (3) (total with sdv 324); and by si 
(1), SITS . . . SITS (2), EKToq SI \xr[ (1) (total with si 4).^'' 


The iva Clause as an Equivalent to the Infinitive 

It is not within the scope of this study to explain or even to trace 
the historical development by which the Greek language ultimately 
lost its infinitive before the encroachment of the I'va clause; rather I 
will survey the situation as it was in the Greek in the NT. As oti with 
the indicative increasingly became a substitute for the infinitive in 
indirect statements, so I'va with the subjunctive became a substitute 
for the infinitive in indirect commands and requests. But beyond this, 

^'For example, K, B, and D. 

"BAGD, 897. 

"BDF, 192. 

'"Robertson, Grammar, 968. 

''For a full treatment the reader is referred to my previous article, "Third (and 
Fourth) Class Conditions," Gry 3 (1982) 163-75. 

'^The numbers here indicate the times the subjunctive verb occurs in these con- 
structions, not the number of third class conditional sentences. 

"For a discussion of these anomalous constructions see my articles "Third (and 
Fourth) Class Conditions," 164 and "Other Conditional Elements," 174-75. 

boyer: the classification of subjunctives 15 

the I'va clause became an alternative expression for almost every func- 
tion of the infinitive. It seems important at this point to demonstrate 
this, and to let it impact the interpretive process. 

A comparison of the functions of the infinitive with those of the 
I'va clause shows their remarkable parallels. Even in older Greek both 
were used to express purpose, but in the NT the infinitive increases in 
frequency, particularly with verbs of motion. In contrast with this 
tendency, the use of the infinitive in its noun-functions shows a sharp 
decrease in favor of the on or I'va clause. Every use of the infinitive 
demonstrates this. In this section I will examine the relationship 
between the i'va clause and the infinitive. 

The I'va clause is used as the subject of impersonal, predicative, 
and passive verbs, as is the infinitive. ^^ It is used as the object of 
many verbs which often use the complementary infinitive, as, e.g., 
verbs of wishing (08>ico), verbs of striving and doing (5i5co|a,i, exoi- 
^id^o), TTslGco, Tioisco, aunPou^isuo), TiGrnii, (^r\X6(£>, ^t|tsco), verbs of 
permitting or granting (dcpirmi, 5i5(o^i), as well as other verbs of like 
kind which do not use the infinitive in the NT. The I'va clause also 
forms the object of verbs of mental action and communication which 
take the infinitive of indirect discourse, such as verbs of beseeching 
(aiT80|iai, 5£0|iai, epcoxdo), 7rapaKa?t£C0, Trpoasuxojiai), and verbs of 
commanding (d7rayY8>i?ico, 5ia|iapTi3po|iai, sittov ['to order, com- 
mand'], 8VT8?i?ico, Ypdcpco, Kripuaaco, ?isya) ['tell to'], 7rai58ua), Tiapay- 
ytXXco, and ouvxOrmi). Note that the i'va clause is used in indirect 
discourse only with verbs of beseeching and commanding, where the 
direct discourse would have been in the imperative. For indirectly 
quoted statements on + indicative can be used in place of the infini- 
tive. A clause introduced by i'va, I'va |if|, or jifj with a subjunctive 
verb is also used as object after verbs of fearing and apprehension 
((popso|Liai, Trpoasxoo) where occasionally the object infinitive occurs. 

The substantival i'va clause also substitutes for an epexegetic 
infinitive, one which limits or qualifies or stands in apposition to 
another substantive. Again it is found frequently with the same words 
as the infinitive, such as nouns (ftovXi], xpsia, xP^voq, 8VToA,f|, 
euKaipia, s£,ouaia, 6s>ir||ia, wpa), adjectives (d^iog, 5iKaiO(;, iKav6(;), 
and in apposition to the demonstrative pronoun ouxoc;. 

Even the so-called "imperatival infinitive" has its counterpart 
with the "imperatival I'va clause, "^^ although both are probably mis- 
named and should rather be considered elliptical, with some governing 
verb to be supplied from the context. 

Examples of these and the following will be found above in the various classifica- 

Cf. Turner, Syntax, 94-95. For my discussion of the imperatival infinitive see 
"The Classification of Infinitives: A Statistical Study," GT/ 6 (1985) 14-15. 


That leaves only one infinitive usage without a parallel I'va con- 
struction, the articular infinitive after prepositions to express various 
adverbial relationships. Indeed this is one of the two uses of the 
infinitive which in NT Greek shows an increase, the other being the 
purpose infinitive. 

This very close correspondence between the infinitive and the I'va 
clause must certainly be taken into consideration in the exegetical 
process. For example, 1 John 1:9 {nioxoc, sotiv Kai SiKaioc; i'va dcpfj 
finiv / 'He is faithful and righteous to forgive') should be understood 
so that the I'va clause is epexegetic to the two adjectives. It is not a 
purpose clause — forgiveness is not the purpose for which God is faith- 
ful and just. To see it as result would be clearer ("so that He will . . ."), 
but the epexegetic infinitive provides the clearest sense. 

The Ambivalence of the Future Indicative 
with the Aorist Subjunctive 

A Definition of the Phenomenon 

In places where an aorist subjunctive verb might be expected, 
occasionally a future indicative is found. This does not happen in the 
reverse, however; never does an aorist subjunctive occur where a 
future indicative might be expected. ''^ The future functions normally 
as an indicative, but it also functions in certain situations where the 
subjunctive (the potential future) might be expected. 

Historical Background 

Grammarians have attempted to explain this ambivalence by 
resorting to a study of the historical development of the language."*' 
Several factors have been suggested. (1) Historically the future indica- 
tive may have originated from the aorist subjunctive. (The aorist 
subjunctive functioned as a simple future in Homer, for example.) 
(2) There was always some duplication and confusion in form between 
the two, either in actual identity of spelling (e.g., ?ii)O(0, for both fut. 
ind. and aor. subj.) or in similarity or identity of sound between the 
long and short thematic vowel (e.g., Xuaei and Xuarji [later written 
?n3aTi], or A,i)oo|j,8v and ^.uaconev). (3) This confusion is often demon- 
strated in variations between manuscripts of the same text. (4) The 

For example, there are 4 places where si is followed by a subjunctive verb; in 
none of these can it be explained as a substitute for a future indicative (ei in 1 Cor 14:5 
and Rev 11:5; eue in 1 Thess 5:10). See my discussion of these in "Other Conditional 
Elements," GTJ 4 (1983) 175. In each instance the element of future contingency is 
present and the subjunctive is the expected mood. It is the conditional particle that 
needs explanation. 

"'BDF, 183, 186-88; Robertson, Grammar, 924-28, 984. 

boyer: the classification of subjunctives 17 

basic significance of the subjunctive is always futuristic; its connota- 
tion of doubtful assertion or potentiality is by reason of futurity — it is 
uncertain because it has not happened. Even when the subjunctive 
was used to describe an event which was only a possibility to the 
speaker at that time, the verb would often be changed to the indicative 
after the fact. 

Survey of the Occurrences 

Since a list of subjunctives such as has been the basis of this 
study is compiled from form rather than function the instances where 
a future so functions are not included. And a list of future indicatives 
would have to be subjected to the same type of study as I have 
attempted here on subjunctives in order to discover which categories 
of usage are parallel. I have not yet done this, so I have attempted to 
find these ambivalent future indicatives from the other end — by search- 
ing the constructions which normally take the subjunctive in order to 
find instances where the future is found instead. It would be too 
much to expect that I have found them all. 

This ambivalence occurs in most of the classified functions of the 
subjunctive. Among the main-clause uses it may be found in delibera- 
tive questions"^ but it clearly is present in the emphatic negation 
category as well: ou |j,f| + future indicative. ''^ 

This ambivalence between aorist subjunctives and future indica- 
tives occurs most frequently in places where the subjunctive would be 
expected in subordinate clauses. It is rare in conditional'*'* and relative 
clauses,"*^ as well as temporal indefinite relative clauses. It normally 
uses the subjunctive verb but twice the future indicative is found. "^ It 

"^A few possible examples found were Luke 22:49; John 3:12; Rom 3:5; 4:4; 9:14; 
even a present indicative is found in John 11:47. But not all future questions are 
deliberative; those so described usually show an element of anxiety or perplexity. The 
examples just cited may be matter of fact examples of a simple future question. 

''Matt 15:6; 16:22; 26:35; Mark 13:31; 14:31; Luke 21:33; John 4:14; 6:35; 10:5; 
Gal 4:30; Heb 10:17; Rev 9:6; 18:14. 

""Luke 19:40; Acts 8:31. There are also examples of other tenses in the indicative 
after eav: present (1 Thess 3:8) and perfect (1 John 5:1$). Cf. my article "Other 
Conditional Elements," GTJ A (1983) 175. 

"^In relative clauses the indicative is normal, and only in the category called 
'Indefinite Relative' would the subjunctive be expected. But the term 'indefinite' may be 
a bit confusing. For example, it is not merely that the relative has an indefinite 
antecedent (in Matt 7:24) — the pronoun is the indefinite relative boxxq but the mood is 
indicative, as it is also in 10:32 where the future indicative occurs naturally in an 
exactly parallel passage. (But cf. Matt 7:12 where the indefinite particle sdv appears 
along with a verb in the subjunctive.) This construction looks at the action itself as 
indefinite or uncertain by reason of futurity. 

"'Luke 13:28; Rev 4:9. The imperfect is also used (Mark 3:11), as well as the 
present (Mark 11:25) and the aorist (Mark 11:18). 


is primarily in the clauses introduced by I'va, |if|, and ottwc; where the 
future indicative more frequently takes the place of the aorist sub- 
junctive."*^ It occurs in both the final and nominal clauses introduced 
by these words. 

Is there a Distinction in Meaning? 

All that has been said thus far would not lead one to expect any 
difference in meaning between the future indicative and aorist subjunc- 
tive in these clauses — the difference would seem to be formal, not 
semantic. But some have insisted upon a distinction in meaning. One 
of my students in a Greek exegesis class called to my attention the 
view that in 1 Pet 3:1 the future indicative means that the purpose 
was guaranteed fulfillment, since the indicative is the mood of actu- 
ality. The believing wife who lives a godly life before her unbelieving 
husband is assured that she will win her husband. Is this claim valid? 
How can it be checked? 

Since the claim is based on a grammatical principle, it can be 
checked. When the grammars are checked for theoretical statements 
about the indicative mood, there are claims that it is the mood of 
certainty, of actual statement, etc.; but there is no claim which applies 
that principle to this situation. Instead there are explanations such as 
those reviewed above, but there is no suggestion of a difference in 

A study of all the contexts where the idiom occurs is more 
decisive, and such a study demonstrates that there are some contexts 
where the purpose was actually accomplished, although there is no 
indication that it was guaranteed. In most instances, predictably, there 

"'After iva: Mark 15:20; Luke 14:10; 20:10; John 7:3; Acts 21:24 (2); Rev 3:9 (2); 
6:4, 11; 9:4, 5; 13:12; 14:13; after I'va nfj: Gal 2:4; 1 Pet 3:1; Rev 8:3; 9:20; 22:14; after 
Hf): Luke 1 1:35; Col 2:8; and after OTtrog; Matt 7:8; Mark 14:2; Heb 3:12. 

In addition there are a number of places where the clause contains one or more 
subjunctives normally, with a Kai and a future indicative following: Matt 5:25; 13:16; 
Rom 3:4 (after oiKnq); Eph 6:3; Rev 2:10. This is capable of two explanations; either it 
is another ambivalent use of the future and the verb is simply another dependent on the 
conjunction, or it is a new beginning, an additional comment in which the future 
indicative stands independently. The latter seems to fit the sense better in most cases. 

There are also a number of places where these clauses use indicative verbs 
other than the future: aorist (Luke 24:20, after OTtwi;; Gal 4:17; 1 Thess 3:5); perfect 
(Gal 4:11); present (1 Cor 4:6; Gal 4:17). These are outside our present consideration, 
but it may be noted that of those using the aorist and perfect 3 are in contexts 
expressing apprehension where even older Greek used [ir\ with indicative (cf. BDF, 
188) and the other communicates the proper sense although the structure may seem to 
be irregular. The two showing present indicatives do appear to be standing where 
subjunctives would be expected. At least they illustrate that in Hellenistic Greek the 
correspondence between the conjunction and the mood are somewhat relaxed. 

boyer: the classification of subjunctives 19 

is no indication whether the purpose was reaHzed or not. But there 
are a number of instances where the purpose was not reahzed, and 
obviously was not guaranteed. For example, in Luke 20:10 the owner 
of the vineyard sent his servant I'va . . . 56aouaiv / 'in order that they 
might give him some of the produce'. In Gal 2:4-5 false brethren 
sneaked in to spy I'va r\\iac, KaTa5ou>L6aouaiv oi(; oi)5e irpoc; wpav 
si^a^iev / 'in order to bring us into bondage. But we did not yield . . . 
even an hour'. (See also Gal 4:17 and Mark 14:2.) These examples 
demonstrate that the principle "usage determines meaning" is as true 
in syntax as it is in lexicography. 

Grace TheologicalJournall A (1986) 21-56 




Ardel B. Caneday 

The enigmatic character and polarized structure of the book of 
Qoheleth is not a defective quality but rather a deliberate literary 
device of Hebrew thought patterns designed to reflect the paradoxical 
and anomalous nature of this present world. The difficulty of inter- 
preting this book is proportionally related to one's own readiness 
to adopt Qoheleth's presupposition — that everything about this world 
is marred by the tyranny of the curse which the Lord God placed 
upon all creation. If one fails to recognize that this is a foundational 
presupposition from which Ecclesiastes operates, then one will fail 
to comprehend the message of the book, and bewilderment will 


THE book of Qoheleth,' commonly known as Ecclesiastes, is per- 
haps the most enigmatic of all the sacred writings. It is this qual- 
ity which has been a source of sharp criticism. Virtually every aspect 
of the book has come under the censure of critics — its professed 
authorship,^ its scope and design, its unity and coherence, its theo- 
logical orthodoxy, and its claim to a place among the inspired writings. 
A superficial reading of Qoheleth may lead one to believe he is a 
man with a decidedly negative view of life in its many facets. This 
negative quality has been disproportionately magnified by liberal 

'Though the meaning of nVnp continues to be much debated, the sense accepted 
here is connected with the Hebrew verb for assembling (Vni?), and its form suggests 
some kind of office-bearer (the feminine ending). Qoheleth was one who assembled a 
congregation for the purpose of addressing it, thus the Preacher. See H. C. Leupold, 
Exposition of Ecclesiastes (Gv&nA Rapids: Baker, 1966) 7. 

'The Solomonic authorship has been widely rejected by scholars, both critical 
and conservative. Some noted conservatives opt for a post-exilic dating of the book. 
See, e.g., E. W. Hengstenberg. Commentary on the Book of Ecclesiastes (reprint; 


critics and conservatives alike. Understandably, then, Qoheleth has 
become the delight of critics and the embarrassment of conservatives. 
Embarrassment has led to greater perplexity about the book, and 
perplexity has brought negligent disuse of this valuable book. 

Certainly the viewpoint of Qoheleth upon the world and life 
must be included in any discussion of OT ethical problems. If the 
book is indeed a unity, the composition of a single wise man, what is 
its theme? Is it pessimistic? Can a completely pessimistic view of life 
be admitted a place in the canon of Holy Scripture? Does not the 
recurring theme of "a man can do nothing better than to eat and 
drink and find satisfaction in his work" (cf. 2:24; 3:12, 13; etc.) sug- 
gest an Epicurean influence? Perhaps Stoicism, too, has influenced 
Qoheleth, for he claims, "All is vanity" (1:2; etc.). What exactly is 
Qoheleth's view of the world and of life? What was the source of his 
ethics? Is Qoheleth the record of a man's search for meaning gone 
awry, ending in cynicism? Or, is it the book of a godly wiseman who 
gives orthodox counsel for directing one's path through the labyrinth 
of life? 


Modern critics have seized upon the alleged disunity of Qoheleth 
and upon the presumed contradictions. This alleged antithetical char- 
acter has led critics to disavow the single authorship of Qoheleth, to 
discredit the theological expressions, to disclaim its ethics and view of 
the world and of life, and to displace the book from its authority and 
position as one of the writings of Holy Scripture. 

Earlier critics, such as Tyler, postulated a late date (ca. 200 b.c.)^ 
for the book in order to accommodate the alleged influence of Greek 
philosophical schools. Tyler sought to explain the discordance within 
Qoheleth in terms of conflicting influences from Epicureanism and 
Stoicism."* To Tyler the recognition of discontinuity and discordance 

Minneapolis: James and Klock, 1977) 1-15 and E. J. Young, An Introduction to the 
Old Testament (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1952) 339-41. Young suggests that the 
author, being post-exilic, placed his words into the mouth of Solomon, employing a 
conventional literary device of his time (p. 340). However, in favor of Solomonic 
authorship see G. L. Archer, "The Linguistic Evidence for the Date of 'Ecclesiastes,'" 
y£r5 12(1969) 167-81. 

'Thomas Tyler, Ecclesiastes (London: D. Nutt, 1899) 30-32. 

""Tyler (ibid., 54) states, "Our book possesses a remarkable antithetical character, 
its contrasts not unfrequently assuming the form of decided and obvious contradiction. 
This antithetical character is especially marked in those two great thoughts of the 
philosophical part of the book— the Stoic, ALL IS VANITY; and the Epicurean, EAT, 

caneday: qoheleth: pessimist or sage? 23 

within Qoheleth is an assumed fact without need of proof. Hence, it is 
of little consequence for Tyler to claim Greek philosophical influence 
upon a late Hebrew writer, subject to the erosion of the ancient 
Jewish faith. ^ 

Tyler disallows any attempt to demonstrate a genuine continuity 
in Qoheleth which would show that it has no real discordant or 
antithetical character and especially no "obvious contradictions, as 
for example, that between the Stoic and Epicurean. . . ."^ 

One might fancy that the author of Ecclesiastes intended that the con- 
trarities of this book should in some sort reflect and image forth the 
chequered web of man's earthly condition, hopes alternating with fears, 
joys succeeded by sorrows, life contrasting with death. It must not be 
supposed, however, that we can find an adequate explanation in the 
hypothesis that the author of Ecclesiastes arranged his materials in a 
varied and artistic manner. 

The denial of an overall literary plan for Qoheleth and a dislike 
for its ethical expression, which motivated Tyler's criticism,^ also 
motivates other negative criticisms. Recent critics do not identify 
Qoheleth's philosophy as being derived from or influenced by Greek 
schools.^ Yet, Qoheleth's literary method is still looked upon as a 
"most serious defect. "'° Assuming the accuracy of this assessment, 
Jastrow seeks to recover the true and original words of a purely 
secular Qoheleth by stripping away additions and corrections of later 
pious redactors who sought to reclaim the book. In this manner he 
essays to isolate the interpretation of pious commentators and the 
maxims which were added to counterbalance the objectionable char- 
acter of the book.'^ 

Other critics represent the alleged discontinuities of Qoheleth in 
varying manners. Siegfried divided the book among nine sources.'^ 
Yet, none of the scholars who attempt to reconstruct the words of 
Qoheleth by isolating redactors' statements demonstrate why the book 

'Ibid., 33. 

'Ibid., 54. 


*See Ibid., 63-64 where Tyler concludes that nVnp must be the personification of 
Philosophy, a designation in which the speculations of several philosophers are 

'See, e.g., R. B. Y. Scott, Qoheleth, (AB; New York: Doubleday, 1965), p. 197. 

'"Morris Jastrow, /I Gentle Cynic {PhWaddph'ia: Lippincott, 1919) 124. 

"Ibid., 197-242. 

"Ibid., 245ff. 

'^See the citation by George Barton, Ecclesiastes (ICC; Edinburgh: T. & T. Clark, 


should have attracted such an effort on the part of pious interpolators 
and sages to legitimatize it. It could have been easily suppressed or 
dismissed. Cordis properly points out, 

But that the book was subjected to thoroughgoing elaboration in 
order to make it fit into the Biblical Canon is an assumption for 
which no real analogy exists, indeed is contradicted by the history 
of the Apocrypha and the Pseudepigrapha after their composition.'" 

Recent critics recognize a basic unity in Qoheleth, abandon- 
ing the assumption of widespread interpolation. Yet, Qoheleth 
continues to be viewed negatively in its ethics and world and life 
view. Scott sees both heterodoxy balanced by "unimpeachable ortho- 
doxy."'^ Yet, it is the divergence from the orthodox which is empha- 
sized. Scott states, "It denies some of the things on which the other 
writers lay the greatest stress — notably that God has revealed himself 
and his will to man, through his chosen nation."'^ He adds further 

In place of a religion of faith and hope and obedience, this writer 
expresses a mood of disillusionment and proffers a philosophy of 
resignation. His ethic has no relationship to divine commandments, for 
there are none. It arises rather from the necessity of caution and mod- 
eration before the inexplicable, on the acceptance of what is fated and 
cannot be changed, and finally on grasping firmly the only satisfaction 
open to man — the enjoyment of being alive. The author is a rationalist, 
an agnostic, a skeptic, a pessimist, and a fatalist (the terms are not used 

Even for Scott it was necessary for an orthodox interpreter to 
affix the two closing verses (12:13, 14) in order "to safeguard the faith 
of the uncritical reader,"'^ and to assure Qoheleth a place in the 

The critics, with unified voice, decry Qoheleth's ethics and his 
world and life view as being opposed to that of the remainder of the 
OT. He is perceived as a maverick among the sages who propounded 
incompatible propositions. 


In response to liberal critical views, several conservative scholars 
have attempted to vindicate the apparently negative view of life in 

"Robert Cordis, Koheleth (New York: Schocken, 1968) 71-72. 

"ScoU, Qoheleth, 191. 


"Ibid., 191-92. 

"Ibid., 194. 

caneday: qoheleth: pessimist or sage? 25 

Qoheleth and have affirmed its rightful place in the canon of Holy 
Scripture. Among evangelicals there is a general acknowledgment 
that Qoheleth is the composition of one individual.'^ However, many 
evangelicals agree with liberal critical opinions concerning Qoheleth's 
world and life view. 

The Jewish conservative scholar Cordis assumes a negative char- 
acter about Qoheleth's world and life view and seeks to alleviate some 
of the tension of his polarized expressions. He resolves the alleged 
dilemma of antithetical expressions in Qoheleth by accounting for 
many of the "apparently pious sentiments" as quotations cited for the 
purpose of discussion.^^ For example. Cordis claims that VIV (8:12) is 
used by Qoheleth to introduce "a quotation of conventional cast 
which he does not accept."^' But the verb claimed to be introductory 
appears in the middle of the portion it is claimed to mark off as a 

Leupold, in laying out introductory principles for the interpreta- 
tion of Qoheleth, states that the recurring phrase, "under the sun," 
indicates that Qoheleth deliberately restricted his observations and 
explanations of human events to a human perspective. By this Leupold 
means that Qoheleth, in his observations and reflections upon life, 
assumed a position of complete neglect of revelation and the world to 
come. He spoke from the perspective that Cod had not revealed 
Himself, and, furthermore, that Cod is inaccessible.^^ In actuality, 
though, Qoheleth was a "true man of Cod who is offering invaluable 
counsel. "^^ For Leupold, Qoheleth was a rationalistic apologist who 
sought to lead his readers to true happiness by showing how miserable 
life is "under the sun," that is to say "apart from Cod." He attempted 
to direct men toward Cod by seeking to convince them rationalistically 
of their despair apart from Cod. 

The New Scofield Reference Bible extends Leupold's approach. 

Ecclesiastes is the book of man "under the sun" reasoning about life. 
The philosophy it sets forth, which makes no claim to revelation but 
which inspiration records for our instruction, represents the world-view 
of the wisest man, who knew that there is a holy God and that He will 
bring everything into judgment.^" 

"This is true even of those who reject Solomonic authorship. Some have main- 
tained that Solomon was the original author, but that at a later time, before the exile, 
the book was edited and enriched (see Young, Introduction to OT, 340-41). 

^"Cordis, Koheleth. 174. 

^'ibid., 283; cf. 287. 

^^Leupold, Ecclesiastes, 28; cf. 42-43. 

"Ibid., 30. 

^*C. I. Scofield, ed., New Scofield Reference Bible (New York: Oxford University, 
1967) 696. This interpretive approach virtually abandons Qoheleth to the grasp of 


Both Leupold and the New Scofield Reference Bible have mis- 
understood Qoheleth's use of his phrase "under the sun." He did not 
employ it to restrict his perspective to common ground with natural 
man. He was no mere philosopher who, working from a system of 
"natural theology," sought to understand God's creation without the 
interpretive revelation of the Creator. The phrase "under the sun" is 
not a restriction upon the manner of Qoheleth's reflections, but it 
circumscribes the sphere of those things which he observed in con- 
trast to that sphere in which God's reign knows no opposition. The 
expression, "under the sun," therefore, speaks of the earth upon which 
man dwells as does Qoheleth's phrase, "all that is done under heaven" 
(cf. 1:13, 14; etc.). 

An older commentator, Moses Stuart, energetically tried to vin- 
dicate Qoheleth from charges of impiety. However, he too accepts the 
charge that Qoheleth's book contains blatant contradictions and 
several impious conclusions. Nevertheless, Stuart acquits the author 
by suggesting that those objectionable portions must be understood 
in the same way as the "objectors" who appear in the apostle Paul's 
letters. ^^ Stuart characterizes the book as a replaying of the struggle 
through which Qoheleth's mind had passed when he set himself on 

liberal critics, for one wonders how such an espousal of worldly wisdom could possibly 
hold any valid claim to canonicity. This approach agrees that Qoheleth hopelessly 
contradicts himself, but such contradiction is accounted for by a not-so-lucid device of 
separating revelation from inspiration. See, e.g., the note on 9:10 concerning Qoheleth's 
characterization of the dead: "This statement is no more a divine revelation concerning 
the state of the dead than any other conclusion of 'the Preacher' (1:1). No one would 
quote 9:2 as a divine revelation. These reasonings of man apart from revelation are set 
down by inspiration just as the words of Satan (Gen 3:4; Job 2:4-5; etc.) are recorded. 
But that life and consciousness continue between death and resurrection is directly 
affirmed in Scripture . . ." (p. 702). Such an approach vitiates the whole character of 
Qoheleth's book. If one isolates 9:10 from the context of Qoheleth's burden, one may 
argue that Qoheleth did not believe in the conscious existence of the dead. But to assert 
such a conclusion goes far beyond Qoheleth's intention. Qoheleth does not concern 
himself with the state of man after death. He addresses the matter of death from the 
vantage point of things done "under the sun," i.e., the realm of the living (see 9:3, 6, 9). 
His purpose is to celebrate life, for as long as man has breath he has influence and 
activity in all "the things done under the sun" (9:6). But once a man dies, he no longer 
has anything to do with the activities of man "under the sun" (9:10). It is the same 
perspective that King Hezekiah held in his prayer to the Lord who spared his life. "For 
the grave [sheol] cannot praise you, death cannot sing your praise; those who go down 
to the pit cannot hope for your faithfulness. The living, the living— they praise you, as 
I am doing today; fathers tell their children about your faithfulness" (Isa 38:18-19). In 
the same way Qoheleth only seeks to urge men to the full enjoyment of life now, "for it 
is now that God favors what you do" (9:7), for "anyone who is among the living has 
hope" (9:4). 

"Moses Stuart, A Commentary on Ecclesiastes, ed. and rev. by D. C. Robbins 
(Boston: Dreper and Halladay, 1880) 36-39. 

caneday: qoheleth: pessimist or sage? 27 

the course of philosophical inquiry. Along this course it does not 
matter that doubts and improper conclusions "had passed through 
the author's mind, for they had greatly perplexed and disturbed him. 
The passing through his mind does not stamp them with the authority 
of opinions settled, deliberate, and final. "^^ 

Hengstenberg also succumbs to the claim that Qoheleth wrote 
several contradictions and antithetical assertions in expressing his 
ethics and world and life view. However, Hengstenberg seeks to vin- 
dicate Qoheleth from the charge of self-contradiction by means of a 
different approach. For him an understanding of the historical milieu 
out of which the book of Qoheleth arose is absolutely necessary. He 
states, "This book is unintelligible except on the historical presupposi- 
tion that the people of God was [sic] in a very miserable condition at 
the time of its composition. "'' He claims that the book was composed 
in post-exilic days (contemporary with or slightly later than Malachi)"^ 
when the Persians held dominion over God's people. They were in a 
most miserable condition, slaves in their own l^nd. Heathens ruled 
over them. Degradation, injustice, and misery ruled everywhere. The 
glorious splendor of Solomon's days had long passed and the Jews 
were now in a time of persecution.^^ 

With this understanding of the times of Qoheleth, Hengstenberg 
finds it easy to take the various apparently contradictory or impious 
expressions and place them into the mouths of tyrannized impious 
Jews. Qoheleth only quotes them as reflecting the popular sentiment 
of the times. So, Hengstenberg says, "Vanity of vanities was the 
universal cry: alas! on what evil days have we fallen! They said to one 
another, 'How is it that the former days were better than these?' 
Ecclesiastes vii.lO."^° 

Hengstenberg's method of interpretation is observed in his re- 
marks upon Qoh 9:5-7. Of Qoheleth's words, "the dead know noth- 
ing" (9:5), he says. 

Such is the language of natural reason, to those whose eye all seems 
dark and gloomy that lies beyond the present scene, because it fails in 
this world to discern the traces of divine retribution. The Spirit says on 
the contrary: "the spirit returns to God who gave it."^' 

^*Ibid., 39. He states further, "It only shows what embarrassments the writer had 
to remove, what perplexities to contend with. The question is not, whether this or that 
occupied his mind, which he has recor in his writing, but whether this or that was 
adopted by him, and made up a part oi his settled and ultimate opinion" (pp. 39-40). 

^'Hengstenberg, Ecclesiastes, 45. 

^'Ibid., 10-11. 

''Ibid., 2-16. 

'"ibid., 45. 

"Ibid., 212. 


Hengstenberg then explains in his comments on 9:7 that Qoheleth 
had spoken in vv 1-6 "as the representative of the then prevailing 
spirit of the people," but in v 7 he takes up the cause of God "to 
oppose the popular views and feelings. "^^ 

Hengstenberg, along with many evangelicals, has followed many 
liberal scholars in dating the book late based upon internal evidence. 
The external evidence for Solomonic authorship has been almost uni- 
versally rejected by scholars." Along with an appeal to its language,^"* 
scholars cite the condition of Qoheleth's times as an argument against 
Solomonic or early authorship. ^^ As widely accepted as this argument 
may be, it seems to be begging the question. If, indeed, Qoheleth 
must be understood as post-exilic in order to interpret it and to make 
its meaning intelligible, then what continuing value does it have for 
God's people? Certainly, it can be argued that it is useful for men in 
hard times and when under affliction; but Qoheleth's perspective is 
not so restricted. He touches upon virtually every conceivable condi- 
tion of life, and his verdict upon it all is the same, whether prosperous 
or poor, wise or foolish, industrious or slothful, whether times are 
good or bad (cf. 7:13, 14). Qoheleth was not provincial in his world 
view; he set out to explore "all that is done under heaven" (1:13). He 
states with sincerity and not exaggeration, "then I saw all that God 
has done. No one can comprehend what goes on under the sun" 

The nature of the book itself argues against Hengstenberg and 
others who would find internal historical evidence .i place it dur- 
ing the post-exilic Persian domain over Palestine. The book defies 
such attempts. The book presents a world and life view which is 
in accord with the rest of Scripture. It does not occupy itself with 
local phenomena such as Hengstenberg claims. Quite to the contrary, 
it depicts life which is universally true throughout all of earth's his- 
tory since the fall of man in the garden. The book deals with things 
which are common among men everywhere without a necessary con- 
nection to a particular historical milieu. An element common to many 
conservative scholars is their assessment of Qoheleth's ethics and world 
and life view. For them, Qoheleth was a man who, though he feared 
God, looked upon the world around him from the vantage point of a 
"reason" that had little to do with his faith in the Creator. They see a 

''Ibid., 213. 

"See, e.g., the arguments of Christian D. Ginsburg, Coheleth (London: Longmans, 
Green, Longmans, and Roberts, 1861) 245ff. 

^"See Archer, "Linguistic Evidence for the Date of 'Ecclesiastes,'" 167-81 for a 
technical defense of Solomonic authorship. 

''See Ginsburg, Coheleth, p. 249; Stuart, Ecclesiastes, pp. 38-39. 

caneday: qoheleth: pessimist or sage? 29 

dichotomy between faith and reason. ^^ This view hinders the grasping 
of Qoheleth's true world and Hfe view. 

One final trend among some conservative scholars must be 
addressed. This is the trend to differentiate between "appearance" and 
"reality." One says of Qoheleth's world and life view, "There is much 
that superficially viewed, has the appearance of disordered confusion. 
But that this is the real state of the case is here emphatically denied. "^^ 
Again concerning the theme of the book, it is asserted 

The problem really discussed is the seeming inequalities of divine 
providence. These are reconciled with the justice of God, as they are in 
the book of Job reconciled with his mercy and goodness. ^^ 

These comments fall into a dichotomous pattern because they 
refer to Qoheleth's observations of the world as things he only judged 
to be "apparent." Sierd Woudstra clearly expressed this perspective: 
"Koheleth is on the one hand dealing with life as he observed it, while 
on the other hand he knew and was convinced by faith that things 
were different."^' 

Shank astutely observes, 

Woudstra here raises an important issue in the interpretation of 
Qoheleth. If there does exist a distinction here, that distinction is not 
between faith and reason, but between faith and sight, i.e. between 
"faith" (that comes from special revelation) and that revelation pres- 
ently available to any natural man as he perceives the creation about 
him. . . . But, in what sense and to what degree is such a "distinction" 
relevant to Qoheleth?'*" 

Qoheleth did not look upon the world from the perspective of a 
tabula rasa. Nor was his observation of creation and "all that God 
has done" (8:17) conducted upon the foundation of "natural theology." 
His reflections upon this world and life are not the aimless ramblings 
and superficial remarks of one given to "sense-experience theology." 

Cf. H. Carl Shank, "Qoheleth's World and Life View As Seen in His Recurring 
Phrases," WTJ 37 (1974) 61. Hengstenberg (Ecclesiastes, 26) states, "The problem 
before the writer is considered from the point of view of Natural Theology with the aid 
of experience, and of reason as purified by the Spirit of God." 

"See the article attributed to Greene, "The Scope and Plan of the Book of 
Ecclesiastes," Biblical Repertory and Princeton Review 29 (1857) 422. 

''Ibid., 423-34. Cf. Walter Kaiser, Jr., Ecclesiastes {Chicago: Moody, 1979) 17. 

"Sierd Woudstra, "Koheleth's Reflection upon Life" (unpublished Th.M. thesis; 
Westminster Theological Seminary, 1959) 58. He criticized Leupold for his nature/ grace 
dichotomy (p. 106). But see Woudstra's attempt to Christianize Qoheleth (pp. 9 Iff., 
esp. pp. 99-101). 

""Shank, "Qoheleth's World and Life View," 61. 


Rather, Qoheleth's whole approach was governed by foundational 
presuppositions: his firm beliefs that God had revealed Himself 
through the biblical themes of creation, the fall of man, and the ensu- 
ing history of redemption; and that God had cursed man and the 
earth so pervasively that nothing was left untouched by evil. 

Qoheleth lived among a people who knew the Lord God and 
his relationship to the world through the special revelation of the 
Torah. Therefore, his knowledge of the world and of life was regu- 
lated by his antecedent knowledge of God, the one whom he feared. 
This being true, Qoheleth's "faith" and "sight" were not two entirely 
distinct and independent modes of observation. 

"Faith" and sight" do not oppose one another in Qoheleth. His 
"sight"'" (his perception of this world and life) is his "faith" put into 
operation to consider "all that God has done under the sun" from the 
orientation of his firm belief in the fall and the curse of man as 
recorded in Genesis 3. He looked upon the world and all of life from 
the vantage point of a genuine OT believer who well understood not 
only the reality of the curse of God placed upon life "under the sun," 
but also its pervasive effect upon everything "under heaven." It is just 
such a world and life that Qoheleth depicts in vivid terms. 


Thus far it has been the burden of this paper to suggest that it is 
the assumed antithetical character and presumed contradictions which 
have hindered correct interpretation of Qoheleth. Many commentators 
suggest that more than one mind was operative in the composition 
of the book. Even some evangelicals portray Qoheleth as a combina- 
tion of at least two divergent philosophies or perspectives: natural 
reason devoid of special revelation and orthodox affirmations of faith 
(though they be few). It is the thesis of this article that Qoheleth's 
enigmatic character cannot be resolved by following either of these 
two conventional lines of interpretation. The enigmatic character and 
polarized structure of the book is not a defective quality reflecting 
opposing and contradictory philosophies. On the contrary, the book's 
antithetical character is a deliberate literary device set in Hebrew 
thought patterns designed to reflect the paradoxical and anomalous 
nature of the world which Qoheleth observed. The difficulty of inter- 
preting this book and of understanding its message is proportionally 
related to one's own readiness to acknowlege the true nature of this 
world — a world in bondage to the tyranny of the curse placed by God 

* Cf. Ibid., 68-70, where Shank astutely discusses Qoheleth's phraseology, "I 

caneday: qoheleth: pessimist or sage? 31 

upon all creation (cf. Rom 8:20ff.). If one fails to recognize this foun- 
dational presupposition of Qoheleth, then he will fail to comprehend 
the message of the book. 

Qoheleth 's Arrangement 

Many scholars have contended that Qoheleth has no cohesive 
plan or design. Long ago Delitzsch stated: 

A gradual development, a progressive demonstration, is wanting, and 
so far the grouping together of parts is not fully carried out; the con- 
nection of the thoughts is more frequently determined by that which is 
external and accidental, and not unfrequently an incongruous element 
is introduced into the connected course of kindred matters. ... All 
attempts to show, in the whole, not only oneness of spirit, but also a 
genetic progress, an all-embracing plan, and an organic connection, 
have hitherto failed, and must fail."^ 

Hengstenberg follows suit: 

A connected and orderly argument, an elaborate arrangement of parts, 
is as little to be looked for here as in the special portion of the Book of 
Proverbs which begins with chapter X., or as in the alphabetical 

Surely such assertions are extreme, for even a cursory reading of 
Qoheleth should convince anyone that its character is quite differ- 
ent from the book of Proverbs.'*'' With the book of Proverbs one can 
select at random a single verse or two and observe a complete unity 
of thought in them that may not have any real connection with what 
precedes or follows. Yet this does not hinder interpretation of its 
meaning. However, Qoheleth is not at all so characterized. "It is 
useless to take a text and ask 'What does that mean?' unless we have 
in our minds some scheme for the whole book into which that text 

''^ Franz Delitzsch, Commentary on the Song of Songs and Ecclesiastes, trans. 
M. G. Easton (reprint in Biblical Commentary on the Old Testament, by C. F. Keil 
and Franz Delitzsch; Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1950) 188. 

"^Hengstenberg, Ecclesiastes, 15. He continues to say, "Such matters of plan and 
connection have been thrust into the book by interpreters who were incapable of pass- 
ing out of their own circle of ideas, as by degrees became evident from the fact that no 
one of these arrangements gained anything like general recognition, but that on the 
contrary each remained the sole property of its originator and of his slavish followers." 
Concerning the theme of the book, he writes, "It is quite misleading to represent the 
work as occupied with a single narrow theme. ... A superficial glance at its contents 
will amply show that they are of far too rich and varied a nature to be comprehended 
under one single theme" (p. 16). 

"'See Stuart, Ecclesiastes, 28ff. 


must fit."'*^ The book of Proverbs may be read at several sittings, 
disconnected and randomly without disrupting one's understanding 
of its isolated parts. However, Qoheleth is like the book of Job; 
it must be read with great attentiveness given to its design and 
scope, for apart from the context of the complete book, any isolated 
portion will be wrongly interpreted. It is precisely because this prin- 
ciple has not been observed that so many contradictory interpreta- 
tions have been spawned. When detached from the overall design of 
the book, any one of Qoheleth's refrains or expressions may be given 
extremely negative interpretations. So it is that his recurring phrase, 
"Meaningless! Meaningless! Utterly meaningless! Everything is mean- 
ingless" has been dealt with as the exasperated outburst of a cynical 
pessimist. Qoheleth's repeated, "A man can do nothing better than to 
eat and drink and find satisfaction in his work" has been segregated 
from his theme and corrupted to become the slogan of the indulgent 
Epicurean sensualist, "Let us eat, drink, and be merry, for tomorrow 
we die!"'*^ "So I hated life, because the work that is done under the 
sun was grievous to me" (2:17) is ascribed to a slothful pessimist. 
Examples of "decontextualized" misinterpretations of Qoheleth could 
be multiplied many times. But these serve to illustrate how his words 
in various portions have been isolated from one another so that when 
they are retrieved and placed back together, one is left only with a 
mutilated Qoheleth. With such a method, no two pieces fit together. 
Is it any wonder that critics and conservatives alike hear so many 
strange and contradictory voices in Qoheleth? 

However, the solution to determining Qoheleth's arrangement 
and design is not to go to the other extreme. One states. 

There is clear and consistent plan in the book of Ecclesiastes . . . one in 
fact of the most strictly logical and methodical kind. Not only is the 
argument well conducted, conclusive and complete, but its various 
points are so admirably disposed, its divisions so regular, and its differ- 
ent parts so conformed in structure as to give evidence that the whole 
was carefully considered and well digested before it was put together."' 

One must keep in mind that these are the words of one who wrote at 
a time prior to the present resurgence of interest in Hebrew studies, 
which has brought with it a heightened sensitivity to the many pecu- 
liarities of the language and its literature. Recent studies of Qoheleth 

"'Cf. J. Stafford Wright, "The Interpretation of Ecclesiastes," in Classical Evan- 
gelical Essays on Old Testament Interpretation, ed. by Walter Kaiser, Jr. (Grand 
Rapids: Baker, 1973) 136. 

"'See F. C. Thompson, ed., The New Chain- Reference Bible, 4th ed. (Indianapolis: 
B. B. Kirkbridge, 1964) 199 in the section "A Complete System of Biblical Studies." 

"'[Greene], "The Scope and Plan of Ecclesiastes," 427. 

caneday: qoheleth: pessimist or sage? 33 

have shown a much greater appreciation for the qualities of Hebrew 
literature and its thought patterns which find their matrix in the Near 
Eastern and not the Western mind/* 

Nevertheless, the structure of Qoheleth remains elusive. Once its 
scheme is traced out, it must still be acknowledged that the progres- 
sion of its argument is not readily detectable. In many respects the 
book defies the Western mind that looks for clear breaks in thought 
around which it may be outlined. Like I John, its contours are fluid. 
Its boundaries are obscure. It is characterized by reiteration and 
recurring phrases. It is cyclical as it traverses a course around its sub- 
ject. As the apostle John treated the life which is in union with Christ, 
he chose a spiral course for considering the manifold character of 
fellowship in the life of Christ."*^ The subject is of such magnitude that 
a glance at it from one perspective will not suffice. So it is with 
Qoheleth. His subject, too, is immense. A single gaze upon the world 
and upon life from a remote vantage point could never do justice to 
its multiform character. 

Although Qoheleth's arrangement is difficult to determine, cer- 
tain structural devices do come to light. Setting aside the book's title 
(1:1), epigram (1:2; 12:8), and the epilogue (12:9-14), one finds that 
Qoheleth begins and ends with a poem. The first poem is on the 
endless round of events in which man forever comes up short in his 
laborious toil (1:3-11). The book ends with another poem in which 
Qoheleth calls upon men to enjoy life while they yet have breath, for 
if death does not cut one off in mid-life, old age will deteriorate one's 
satisfaction with life and still death will finally wrench the spirit from 
the body (11:7-12:7). It is these two poems which set the tone and 
direction of Qoheleth's reflections upon life. Focusing upon the in- 
scrutability of divine providence, Qoheleth guides his readers to 
acknowledge the meaninglessness of events under the sun. He directs 
the reader's focus away from an attempt to understand providence 
and toward enjoyment of life as the gift from God. "Enjoyment of 
life," not a search for meaning, should be man's guiding principle. ^° 

There is much to commend Addison Wright's view of the struc- 
ture of Qoheleth which he suggests in his provocative study. ^' He tries 

See J. A. Loader, Polar Structures in the Book of Qohelet (Berlin: Walter 
de Gruyter, 1979). 

"Cf. Donald Burdick, The Epistle of John (Chicago: Moody, 1970) 14-15; Robert 
Law, The Tests of Life (reprint; Grand Rapids: Baker, 1968) 1-24. 

^"Robert Johnston, '"Confessions of a Workaholic:' A Reappraisal of Qoheleth," 
CBQ 38 (1976) 12-18. See also his study in The Christian at Play (Grand Rapids: 
Eerdmans, 1983)95-102. 

^'Addison G. Wright, "The Riddle of the Sphinx: The Structure of the Book of 
Qoheleth," CBQ 30 (1968) 313-34. 


to demonstrate that there is a break between 6:9 and 6:10. The first 
half of the book (1:12-6:9) is characterized by the verbal pattern "all 
is vanity and a chase after wind." The cessation of this phrase at 6:9 
signals a major break in the book." The lines following this (6:10-12) 
form a transition to a different verbal pattern which is carried out 
throughout the remainder of the book. These verses introduce two 
themes which are developed in what follows: (1) what is good for 
man during his lifetime? and (2) who can tell man what will come 
after him?" Wright points out that chapters 7 and 8 are structured 
around the first of these themes. It is developed in four sections with 
each marked by the verb N^O.^'' The second motif expressed in 6:12 is 
developed in 9:1-11:6. The end of each unit is marked with the verb 
571^ or the noun nv^.^^ Though one may not agree with all the details 
of Wright's analysis, there are grammatical indicators which suggest 
his general divisions. 

The structural development of the book can be summarized as 
follows. The title (1:1) and the poem (1:3-11) set the tone and direc- 
tion of Qoheleth's reflections by focusing upon the fruitlessness of 
man's toil in contrast to the incessant endurance of the earth. The 
first major section (1:12-6:9) shows that man's toil is vanity and "a 
chase after wind." The second half of the book (after the transition of 
6:10-11) develops two themes: "what is good for man" (7:1-8:17) and 
"man does not know what will come after him" (9:1-11:6). The poem 
on youth and old age (11:7-12:8) and the epilogue (12:9-14) conclude 
Qoheleth's considerations.^^ However, this structural pattern does not 
deny that there is an overlapping of themes between sections. For 
example, the inability of man to comprehend life's meaning and his 
failure to see what will happen after he is gone first appears in 3:11 
and 3:22. Though 1:12-6:9 can be characterized as Qoheleth's investi- 
gation of life and 7:1-11:6 (after the transition of 6:10-11) as his 
conclusions, there is an intermingling of both in each portion. It is 
this fact that prohibits any rigid outline of the book. 

Qoheleth Interpreted: The Prologue 

Qoheleth knew the great expanse of the subject he was about to 
undertake, so he prepared his plan of investigation accordingly. He 
says, "I devoted myself to study and to explore by wisdom all that is 
done under heaven" (1:13, italics added). His inquiry into the mean- 
ing of life and his examination of the character of this world were not 

"Ibid., 322-23. 
"Ibid., 322. 
''Ibid., 323. 
"Ibid., 324. 
"Ibid., 325. 

caneday: qoheleth: pessimist or sage? 35 

restricted to provincial peculiarities, nor was his reflection narrowly 
conceived. He deliberately opened up his observation to the whole 
world and to events common among men universally. This he did in 
accordance with wisdom," a wisdom guided by preestablished beliefs 
which show themselves throughout his discourse. 

Qoheleth bursts upon his reader with his concise and vigorous 
exclamation: "'Meaningless! Meaningless!' says the Preacher, 'Utterly 
meaningless! Everything is meaningless'" (1:2). The intensity of the 
expression could hardly be exceeded. With such brilliance the book 

Now when the preacher gives prominence to words of such 
strength and to an expression so captivating, one would suppose that 
there would be little need to look further for the theme which the 
book seeks to develop and to prove. However, it has not so impressed 
some scholars. Hengstenberg claims. 

It is quite misleading to represent the work as occupied with a single 
narrow theme. ... A superficial glance at its contents will amply show 
that they are of far too rich and varied a nature to be comprehended 
under one such single theme. ^^ 

But Qoheleth puts his arresting expression concerning meaninglessness 
in the position that a book of this nature would normally place its 
theme. Furthermore, the phrase, "everything is meaningless" (with its 
variations), ^^ is the most dominant and pervasive of all Qoheleth's 
recurring phrases in the book. Also, as the book opens, so it closes 
with an exclamation of meaninglessness (see 12:8). Therefore, it seems 
advisable to adopt 1:2 as the theme which Qoheleth seeks to prove 
throughout the entirety of the book. 

Phrases with the word Van appear no less than 30 times. Of this 
class of phrases, Woudstra well states the main exegetical question, 
"Is Koheleth only saying that man's accomplishments under the 
sun are transitory in character, are devoid of any permanence, or 
is he saying that human existence and everything that goes with it 
is futile and meaningless?"^*^ This latter sense of Van is rejected by 
Leupold as "a pessimistic meaning . . . that is not warranted by facts"^' 
in Qoheleth. He avows that the word can only refer in Qoheleth to 

"Cf. Stuart's discussion of "wisdom" {Ecclesiastes, 50ff.) where he points out that, 
for Qoheleth, the contrast between wisdom and folly is not equivalent to the Proverbs' 
use where wisdom is piety and folly is wickedness. In Qoheleth, wisdom bears the sense 
of sagacity and folly, the lack of it. 

'* Hengstenberg, Ecclesiastes, 16. 

"Cf. 1:2, 14; 2:1, 11, 15, 17, 19, 21, 23, 26; 3:19; 4:4, 7, 8, 16; 5:7, 10; 6:2, 4, 9, 11, 
12; 7:6, 15; 8:10, 14; 9:9; 11:8, 10; 12:8. 

'"Woudstra, "Koheleth's Reflection upon Life," 38. 

*' Leupold, Ecclesiastes, 41. 


"that which is fleeting and transitory, and also suggests the partial 
futility of human efforts. "^^ On the other hand, Woudstra defends the 
latter sense of "jan and denies that it implies pessimism. ^^ 

One should not be too hasty to translate biTl with a single word 
as do most translations.^" The word Vdh, meaning "vapor" or "breath," 
is employed figuratively of anything that is "evanescent, unsubstantial, 
worthless, vanity. "^^ The particular sense of the word must be derived 
from its usage in any particular context. It is employed as a designa- 
tion for false gods (Deut 32:21; 1 Kgs 16:13, 26; 2 Kgs 17:15; Jer 2:5; 
8:19; 10:8, 15; Jonah 2:9; Ps 31:6). The term Vsn also represents the 
exasperated sentiments of individuals.^* Job complains about the 
brevity and uncertainty of his life; it is an exasperation to him 
(Job 7:16).*^ The use of Vdh in Ps 39:5, 6 is similar to its use in 

You have made my days a mere handbreadth, the span of my years is 
nothing before you. Each man's life is but a breath. Man is a mere 
phantom as he goes to and fro; He bustles about, but only in vain; he 
heaps up wealth, not knowing who will get it.^^ 

The majority of the uses of Van in the OT appear in Qoheleth, 
yet even here the word is more flexible than most translations would 
suggest. There are four general categories into which Qoheleth's use 
of blTl can be placed. First, there are passages in which the word 
expresses "meaninglessness" in the most general sense. Among these, 
1:2 and 12:8 are the most prominent, for they summarize the whole 
book in compressed form. Other passages in this category are 2:1, 26; 
4:16; 5:7, 10; 6:4; 7:6; 9:9. Second, the author employs Van to express 
his vexations arising from the laboriousness of his work and his 
inability to control the disposition of his possessions when he departs 
from the earth (2:11, 17, 19, 21, 23; 4:4, 7, 8; 6:2). Third, the expres- 
sion is used of Qoheleth's frustration over the delay of retribution. 
Retribution, adequate, appropriate, and final does not take place in 
the present world. The connection between wickedness and condemna- 
tion, righteousness and deliverance is not direct and obvious but 
shrouded and often turned upside down (2:15; 6:9; 7:15; 8:10, 14). 
Finally, Van is employed by Qoheleth to vent his deepest vexation 

"ibid. Italics added. 

"Woudstra, "Koheleth's Reflection upon Life," 38. 
^^KJV, "vanity"; NASB, "vanity"; NIV, "meaninglessness." 
"BDB, 210-11. 

"For example, Isa 49:4. The servant Israel says, "I have labored in vain [p'l], I 
have spent my strength for nothing [Wn] and vanity [Van]." 
"Cf. Job 7:16 with Qoh 2:17. 
"iV/F,Qoh 5:16-17. 

caneday: qoheleth: pessimist or sage? 37 

with this present world — his lament over the brevity of life and the 
severity of death (3:19; 6:12; 11:8, 10; cf. 12:8 following the graphic 
portrayal of death). The quality of life is "empty" and "vacuous" and 
its quantity is entirely "transitory" and "fleeting."^^ How appropriate, 
then, is b^Tl with its many nuances to express the nature of this world 
and life in it! 

Shank sums up well Qoheleth's employment of Vnri: 

Different "aspects" of the idea of vanity are employed by Qoheleth to 
vividly illustrate the reality of the curse of God placed upon the work 
of man after the Fall (cf. Gen. 3:17-19). Therefore, an attempt to find 
a "static" meaning to hebel in Ecclesiastes . . . fails to take note of the 
richness of the concept as used by Qoheleth. '° 

Indeed, Qoheleth does announce his theme in 1:2. It is not 
narrowly conceived nor is it too singular. The theme of evanescence, 
unsubstantiality, meaninglessness, vanity is carefully carried through 
the whole book as a weaver threads his theme color throughout his 
fabric. It is sufficiently broad in its formulation, for it accurately 
summarizes the full contents of Qoheleth (if one does not restrict the 
word Vdh to a rigid or static meaning). 

What the Preacher states with pithy conciseness in 1:2, he restates 
in further summary form before he begins the body of his work. This 
he does in 1:3-1 1 in the form of a compendium. The opening poem 
serves as an abstract which compresses the essence of the book into a 
brief introduction. 

The Preacher first asks, "What does man gain from all his 
labor at which he toils under the sun?" (1:3). Qoheleth clearly indi- 
cates by his question the inquiry that led to his announced verdict 
of evanescence and meaninglessness (1:2). The query expresses in 
typical Hebrew concreteness the quest for the meaning and purpose 
of life in this present world. This often escapes the occidental mind 
which posits the question in more abstract terms. Qoheleth's fondness 
for the book of Genesis^' throughout his work influenced how he 
framed his question. As scholars have observed, wisdom literature in 
the OT is "within the framework of a theology of creation."'^ Thus, 
one can understand why Qoheleth structured his inquiry based upon 
man's divinely appointed occupation within creation (cf. Gen 2:5, 15) 

^'Cf. Victor Hamilton, "hebel" in Theological Wordbook of the Old Testament, 
vol. 1, ed. by R. Laird Harris, Gleason L. Archer, Bruce K. Waltke (Chicago: Moody, 
1980) 204-5. 

™Shank, "Qoheleth's World and Life View," 66. 

''See Charles C. Forman, "Koheleth's Use of Genesis," y^S 5 (1960) 256-63. 

"Walter Zimmerli, "The Place and Limit of the Wisdom in the Framework of the 
Old Testament Theology," 577 17 (1964) 148. 


rather than ask abstractly, "What is the meaning of life?" His interest 
is not economical but truly philosophical; it does not concern pecu- 
niary profits but life's purpose and meaning. 

Qoheleth states his conclusion (1:2); then he asks the question to 
which his conclusion is the answer (1:3). He then turns to prove his 
conclusion about this world and man's part in it by means of the 
poem in 1:4-11. This introductory poem serves as a compendium in 
which the message of the book is summarized. Qoheleth seeks to 
establish his conclusion of 1:2 by rehearsing the inflexible cyclical 
nature of the world and its enduring character in contrast to transi- 
tory and evanescent man. He declares, "Generations come and gener- 
ations go, but the earth remains forever" (1:4). The earth, methodically 
plodding along in its routine course, does not skip a beat of its 
rhythm to celebrate a man's birth nor to mourn his death. 

This rhythmic uniformity of seasons and events forms the con- 
text within which man dwells. It provides stability so that much of his 
life becomes routine; there are not shocking surprises everyday. Man 
can depend upon the recurrence of the daily appearance of the sun. 
As it sets in the westerly sky in the evening, so it shall rise in the east 
the next morning (1:5). Man has come to recognize the course of the 
wind which brings warmth or cold. It, too, is cyclical. Daily the winds 
change their direction bringing a variety of weather conditions (1:6). 
Man does not need to fear that the seas will swallow up the land, for 
though the rivers and streams all flow into the ocean, the sea does not 
overrun its boundaries. The waters dissinate and return as rain upon 
the land to keep the rivers flowing to the sea (1:7). 

Times and seasons are a blessing to man, for God promised a 
regularity and uniformity upon which man could depend. "As long as 
the earth endures, seedtime and harvest, cold and heat, summer and 
winter, day and night will never cease" (Gen 8:22). However, this 
blessing which gives man some measure of predictability about life 
becomes wearisome to him. Uniformity and repetition breeds monot- 
ony in this cursed world. Regularity has an eroding effect; it wears 
man down. So it is that Qoheleth declares, "All things are wearisome, 
more than one can say. The eye never has enough of seeing, or the ear 
its fill of hearing" (1:8). 

Man comes to expect the recurrence of events. Even in man's 
brief existence upon the earth, he comes to learn that even those few 
things that may occur only once in his lifetime are not new (1:9). The 
joy of discovery is dampened by earth's stubborn uniformity. As one 
excitedly exclaims, "Look! This is something new," the excitement 
quickly fades with the realization that, "It was here before our 
time" (1:10). 

Uniformity; regularity; methodical, orderly recurrence; cyclical, 
rhythmic routine; these are all descriptive of the world which Qoheleth 

caneday: qoheleth: pessimist or sage? 39 

observed. But there is an intruder which interrupts man's part in the 
profound cycle of events. It is the culprit which transforms the beauty 
of uniformity into a monotonous machine which mercilessly carries 
the sons of Adam through the corridors of time into oblivion (1:11). 
It is the curse which has put a blight upon everything. Nothing has 
escaped its clutching grasp. Surely, God's providential directing of the 
affairs of this world is carried out with uniform precision and beauty, 
yet the curse hides the full character of the one who governs the 

Such is the broad, sweeping picture that Qoheleth portrays in his 
compendium (1:3-1 1). The stage, with its backdrop and props, obsti- 
nately endures as earth's systems methodically press on with no 
apparent direction, for everything about it repeats itself. Much to the 
grief of the actors, they themselves have no such permanence. "Genera- 
tions come and generations go, but the earth remains forever" (1:4). 
To add insult to injury, even the product of their work falters with 
them (1:3), so they become forgotten men (1:11). Such is the scene 
which stirs Qoheleth with vexation to announce with startling bold- 
ness, "'Meaningless! Meaningless!' says the Preacher, 'Utterly mean- 
ingless! Everything is meaningless'" (1:2). 

It is Qoheleth's prologue which sets the theme, the tone and the 
movement of the whole book with its incessant repetition. The book 
takes on the shape of the world as it imitates the cadence of creation 
by the use of its many recurring phrases and themes. Not only has 
Qoheleth captured with words the pointlessness of man's life of labor 
in a world which outlasts him, uninterrupted by man's coming and 
going, but he also leads his reader to sense the incessant rhythm of 
the world by his own calculated refrains. It is precisely this recurrent 
character of Qoheleth with its polarized structure which should aid 
the reader to a proper interpretation of the book. Rather, it has 
become the chief point of criticism and dispute. 

Qoheleth Interpreted: The Recurring Themes 

As Qoheleth develops his world and life view it is imperative to 
observe his pattern. He sets before the reader motifs and themes, all 
calculated to support his verdict announced in 1:2. Qoheleth's argu- 
ment will be considered under four headings: 1) polarity of themes, 
2) theology of creation, 3) elusiveness of meaning, and 4) celebra- 
tion of life. 

Polarity of Themes 

The antithetical character of Qoheleth is not to be resolved by 
positing contradictory thought patterns within Qoheleth himself, nor 


by appealing to the voices of presumed editors, redactors, and glos- 
sators as the liberal critics do. Rather the polarity of structure and 
expression found in the book reproduces the character of this world. 
As the world which Qoheleth observed is characterized by its cease- 
less recurrent cycles and paradoxes of birth and death, war and peace, 
and the like (cf. 3:1-8), giving it an enigmatic quality, so Qoheleth 
reproduces its pattern in literary form, repeatedly turning back upon 
himself to reiterate and restate themes and observations upon various 
subjects which support his verdict. ^^ This he does by casting his work 
into a polarized structural form as illustrated by 3:1-9.^" Just as there 
is no place "under the sun" to find a tranquil resting place devoid of 
life's vexations where the movement of this world ceases to erode the 
strength and vitality of man, so Qoheleth's composition does not 
permit its readers to settle their minds with contentment upon a par- 
ticular portion of his book. There is always tension as various obser- 
vations and reflections upon life are juxtaposed in polarity. He hates 
life (2:17), yet he commends its enjoyment (2:24ff.). Death (7: Iff.) and 
life (9:4ff.) hold prominency in Qoheleth's polarized expressions. On 
the one hand he can say, "The day of death is better than the day 
of birth" (7:1) and on the other "a live dog is better off than a 
dead lion" (9:4). Illustrative of this polarized character of Qoheleth, 
7:16, 17 stand out: "Do not be overrighteous, neither be overwise — 
why destroy yourself? Do not be overwicked, and do not be a 
fool — why die before your time?" It is these paradoxical observations 
and expressions which characterize the book and cause such great 
difficulty for so many exegetes. The tension cast by Qoheleth's obser- 
vations and reflections is unrelenting. 

Qoheleth involves the whole reader in an incessant movement of 
thought as he carefully weaves his various strands of thread into a 
multiform fabric, fully reflecting this world and life in it. His literary 
image reflects the harsh realities of this present world as he places 
side by side contradictory elements to portray the twisted, disjointed 
and disfigured form of this world (see 1:15; 7:13). Man as observer is 
not exempted from the tension. His emotional and mental involve- 
ment in the contradictions of this world create a complexity of 
thought, motives and desires. Qoheleth was a man torn by the pres- 
ence of evil and vexed by the ravages of injustice, oppression and 
death. He compels his reader to confront this diverse nature of this 
paradoxical world in which evil has supplanted the good. In this 

"See Shank, "Qoheleth's World and Life View," 57-73 for an excellent study of 
Qoheleth's recurring phrases. 

'"Cf. Loader, Polar Structures in the Book of Qohelet, 29ff. 

caneday: qoheleth: pessimist or sage? 41 

world wickedness drives out justice (3:16). Oppression replaces char- 
ity (4: Iff.). Everything is marked by twisting and incompleteness 
(1:15). In the place of sweet labor (which was man's original allot- 
ment), the sweat of the brow embitters one's work with the brine of 
wearisome and laborious toil which is fruitless (cf. Gen 3:17-19; with 
Qoh2:ll, 17f., etc.). 

The world which Qoheleth observed is cursed; it is disjointed; it 
is upside down. Death and decay dominate. The appointment of 
every man has become the grave. As a man is born, so he must die 
(3:1). He comes into a world naked and leaves stripped of all the 
profits from his labors (5:15-17). He leaves his wealth to be squan- 
dered by one who has not worked for it (2:17-21), or it falls into the 
hands of a stranger by some misfortune (6:1-2). But the greatest evil 
of all is the fact that death is no respecter of persons (9:3). It comes 
upon men so haphazardly, often leaving the wicked to live long in 
their wickedness (7:15). 

In this paradoxical world no man knows what shall befall him — 
whether love or hate (9:1), good or evil (7:14), prosperity or destruction 
(11:6). An adequate and appropriate retribution is absent from this 
present world. The connection between wickedness and condemnation, 
righteousness and reward is hidden and apparently non-existent (cf. 
2:15; 6:9; 7:15; 8:10, 14). It is upon this subject that Qoheleth's polar- 
ized expressions have caused his readers to become most disconcerted 
and unsettled. For on the one hand he complains that wickedness has 
driven out justice in the place where one would expect to find equity 
(3:16). Yet, he quickly offsets the present scene with an expression of 
confidence that "God will bring to judgment both the righteous and 
the wicked, for there will be a time for every activity, a time for every 
deed" (3:17). Qoheleth vents his grief that sentences for crimes are not 
quickly executed (8:11). Yet, he again expresses confidence that the 
final day will bring justice where it is now absent (8:12-13). But 
immediately Qoheleth turns the reader back to view the paradox that 
vexes him most: "There is something else meaningless that occurs on 
earth: righteous men who get what the wicked deserve, and wicked 
men who get what the righteous deserve. This too, I say is meaning- 
less" (8: 14). 

Herein lies the chief source of Qoheleth's dilemma; divine provi- 
dence in this present world disproportionately distributes deserts — the 
wicked prosper and the righteous flounder (cf. Job 21:4-33; Ps 73:4- 
12; Jer 12:1-4). The almighty God who rules this world hides himself 
behind a frowning providence. It seldom appears that the benevolent 
God who created the universe has control of his own creation. It 
rarely seems that a rational and moral being gives motion to the 
world. Even the beauty of uniformity plagues man's thoughts about 


God. Uniformity becomes motonony in the present cursed world, for 
it is precisely upon the basis of the world's disjointed regularity that 
men scoff at God and his promises (see Mai 2:17; 3:14-15; 2 Pet 3:3- 
7). The present world order becomes the occasion for wicked men to 
jeer God and for righteous men to vex their souls that divine justice is 
so long delayed. It is precisely this character of the world which gives 
rise for the need of patient endurance on the part of the righteous as 
they await the fulfillment of God's promises of justice and deliverance 
(cf. 2 Pet 3:8-13, 15). 

Theology of Creation 

The Preacher's occasion and purpose for writing his book is 
found in his opening question: "What does man gain from all his labor 
at which he toils under the sun?" (1:3). He asks this question re- 
peatedly (2:22; 3:9). This may seem to be a rather narrowly conceived 
question for setting the theme of Qoheleth which is broad in its discus- 
sions and investigations. It has been stated earlier that Qoheleth's 
interests were not merely to investigate the measure of profits gained 
from labor, but the inquiry expresses tangibly man's quest to know 
the meaning and purpose of life. The entire book of Qoheleth is a 
reflection upon life in this world in order to search out its meaning. 
The theme question found in 1:3 is conceived in terms of man's 
original divine mandate to work in paradise and to subdue the earth 
by ruling over it as king (Gen 2:5, 15; 1:28). The creation motif holds 
a significant place in the formulation of Qoheleth's thoughts. He 
acknowledges, as does the Genesis account, that man was made from 
the dust of the ground and will return to it (Qoh 12:7; 3:20; cf. Gen 2:7 
3:19); that man was designed to live in companionship (Qoh 4:9-12 
9:9; cf. Gen 1:27; 2:21-25); that man is bent toward sin (Qoh 7:29 
8:1 1; 9:3; cf. Gen 3:1-13); that human knowledge is derived and has 
God-given limitations (Qoh 8:7; 10:14; cf. Gen 2:17); and that God is 
sovereign over all (Qoh 3:10-13; cf. Gen 1:28-30; 3:5). 

Johnston observes, "Perhaps most importantly, Ecclesiastes and 
Genesis exhibit substantial agreement as to the central focus of the 
creation motif — that life is to be celebrated as a 'good' creation of 
God."^^ But the problem that exists for Qoheleth is the intrusion of 
sin and God's curse upon all creation and, in particular, upon man. 
When God created man, his design was that man till the soil as an 
extension of God's hand to carry on the work which God had made 
(Gen 2:4-7). Man's purpose, then, was to work upon the earth, an 
earth which yielded readily to the hands of Adam to produce only 

"Johnston, "'Confessions of a Workaholic,'" p. 22. 

caneday: qoheleth: pessimist or sage? 43 

those things which "were pleasing to the eye and good for food" (cf. 
Gen 2:9). But the curse of God came upon man and his environment 
because of Adam's rebelHon. It changed the scene drastically so that 
no longer would man's work be pleasureable. Instead it is character- 
ized by laboriousness and pain and yields a meagerly disproportion- 
ate return for the energy expended (Gen 3:17-19). Thorns and thistles 
grow where once beautiful and luscious produce sprang forth. Man 
was made to eke out a living under adverse conditions. His whole life 
became involved with this effort. Thus, the real question of the mean- 
ing of life is the query Qoheleth asks: "What does man gain from all 
his labor at which he toils under the sun?" What does man have left 
when all his painful and wearisome toil is complete? What goal is 
there for a life which is so consumed with such endless and exhaust- 
ing drudgery? If there is meaning to life, where is it concealed? 

It is Qoheleth's orientation to the Scriptural account of creation 
which forms his presuppositional basis for a world and life view. He 
recognized a great disparity between his world and that which came 
directly from the creative hand of God; the curse had intruded to 
disrupt the harmony of creation. The evil that Qoheleth observed 
"under the sun" was not inherent in nor of the essence of creation, 
but was externally imposed. The curse of Gen3:17ff. becomes in 
Qoheleth's language disjointedness and discontinuity or kinks and 
gaps which are irrevocable (1:15) because they have been imposed by 
God (7:13). By the curse God subjected creation to the frustration of 
bondage and decay (cf. Rom 8:19-21), creating the enigma which 
bewilders men. The world has been turned upside down, so that it 
bears little resemblance to the pristine paradise that it once was. For 
Qoheleth, then, the world was neither what it once was nor what it 
will be. Therefore he designed his book, not to "wrest some form of 
order from chaos"^* or to master life, but to bring men to acknowl- 
edge that this world and life in it is marked by aimlessness, enigma, 
and tyranny. Qoheleth upholds the creational design to celebrate life 
as a divine gift which is to be enjoyed as good, something to be cher- 
ished reverently and something in which man delights continually." 
This, perhaps, is the greatest enigma in Qoheleth — his bold assertion 
of the meaninglessness of life "under the sun" and his resolute affirma- 
tion that life is to be celebrated joyfully. The fact that he unequivocably 
maintained both is not proof that Qoheleth was a double-minded 
man — secular and religious. He was not a pessimist who saw nothing 
better than to indulge the flesh. He was a godly sage who could 
affirm both the aimlessness of life "under the sun" and the enjoyment 

G. von Rad, Old Testament Theology, vol. 1, trans. D. M. G. Stalker (New 
York: Harper and Row, 1962) 420. 


of life precisely because he believed in the God who cursed his crea- 
tion on account of man's rebeUion, but who was in the process, 
throughout earth's history, of redeeming man and creation, liberating 
them from the bondage to decay to which they had been subjected 
(cf. Rom 8:19-21). Because Qoheleth was a man of faith, he held this 
perspective, for it was through his faith in the God who revealed him- 
self that Qoheleth knew what the world once was and what it will be 
again. It was because of this orientation that so many enigmatic and 
antithetical considerations and observations are held in proper ten- 
sion within his mind and within his book. 

Elusiveness of Meaning 

The identification of 1:3 as the theme question, the question of 
life's meaning, is confirmed by the book itself. In 3:9-11 Qoheleth 
reveals the breadth of the question. It was no mere economic question 
about one's wealth, but it was a philosophical inquiry about life's 
meaning and purpose. After a poetically structured recitation of the 
divine appointment of affairs which touch every man in this cursed 
world (3:1-8), Qoheleth breaks forth with his thematic question, 
"What does the worker gain from his toil?" (3:9). The relentless tide 
of events described by Qoheleth is reminiscent of the cosmological 
cycle earlier recited (1:4-11). It is precisely to such unalterable and 
rhythmic recurrence of events "under the sun" that the Preacher 
affixes his question of meaning (1:3 before the poem in 1:4-11; 3:9 
after the poem in 3:1-8). Man is part of the cyclical flux of time and 
circumstance "under the sun." He both inflicts adversity and suffering 
upon others and is victimized by the incessant recurrence of events. 
Man struggles for life and meaning in an environment that taunts him 
with its paradoxes: birth and death, weeping and laughter, love and 
hate, war and peace, and the like. Such a relentless and inflexible 
cycle of events extends beyond the grasp of man's control and under- 
standing. Qoheleth never suggests that a man should resign himself 
passively and put forth no "effort to avert the times and the circum- 
stances."^^ Yet, his purpose is not to aid his reader to search for order 
so as to master life.^' Von Rad is misguiding when he offers the fol- 
lowing wisdom literature's intention: "There was surely only one goal, 
to wrest from the chaos of events some kind of order in which man 
was not continually at the mercy of the incalculable. "*° 

"Cf. Johnston, "'Confessions of a Workaholic,'" 22-23. 

'^See the improper conclusion of Louis Goldberg, Ecclesiastes (Grand Rapids: 
Zondervan, 1983) 64. 

"Cf. Johnston, "'Confessions of a Workaholic,'" 26-27. 

*°G. von Rad, Wisdom in Israel, trans. J. D. Martin (New York: Abingdon, 

caneday: qoheleth: pessimist or sage? 45 

Though Qoheleth surely is not a passive victim of the cruelties 
of the endless rounds of this life, neither does his focus become the 
task of mastering life, straining to "wrest some form of order from 
chaos."*' Rather, his entire concentration is on how one directs his 
life through the labyrinth of this meaningless life; it is guidance and 
counsel to his readers to enjoy life in spite of the inscrutable and 
enigmatic world in which they live. 

On the one hand, precisely where one might expect pessimistic 
resignation from Qoheleth, the notion is resisted. On the other hand, 
he does not counsel his readers to search for order in an attempt to 
manipulate life. It is his burden to show from his consideration of 
life's limits and enigmas the futility of man's attempt to understand 
the whole of life and thus to master it. He counsels his readers to 
replace false and illusory hopes of understanding providence (thereby 
manipulating life) with a well-established, joyful confidence that crea- 
tion is God's gift.*^ 

One may be puzzled about the connection between the question 
of 3:9 and the statement of 3:10. However, if one remembers that the 
inquiry of 3:9 is not economic but the basic question of life's mean- 
ing, the connection is clear. If every event in this cursed world has its 
appointed time (depending not upon human influence but upon the 
determination and providence of God), "what does the worker gain 
from his toil" (3:9)? What purpose and meaning does life hold? In 
response to his inquiry, Qoheleth says, "I have seen the burden God 
has laid on men" (3:10).*^ What is this burden (V^3Vn)? Hengstenberg 
refers it back to the moil and toil of v 9 "to which men subject them- 
selves in that they desire, and yet are unable to effect anything, 
because everything comes to pass as it has been fixed and predeter- 
mined by God."*"* However, the inquiry of v 9 is not so restricted but 
is a philosophic question relative to the basic meaning and purpose of 
life. It does not merely have in view moil and toil. Rather, it encom- 
passes the whole of life's activity in a cursed world where labor and 
life is subjected to drudgingly irksome and fruitless efforts. Thus, the 
burden spoken of in v 10 is not to be identified as simply the moil and 
toil in which men are occupied. 

The quest in v 9 is Hnked with v 11 through v 10. The burden 
(V3Vn) is comprised of this: "He has made everything beautiful in its 
time. He has also set eternity in the hearts of men; yet they cannot 
fathom what God has done from beginning to end" (3:1 1). To express 
the fact that God has made everything beautiful in its time, Qoheleth 

*'von Rad, Old Testament Theology, vol. 1, 421. 

'^Johnston, "'Confessions of a Workaholic,'" 26. 

*^See Kaiser, Ecclesiastes, 53-54 concerning the singular D"T!<n "'nV. 

^''Hengstenberg, Ecclesiastes, 104. 


uses n^l as a synonym for 3113. Yet, the beauty can hardly be that 
goodness which the Lord God observed in the work of his hands at 
the beginning (cf. Gen 1:31, etc.), for creation's subjugation to bond- 
age and decay had not yet come. But after the fall, God's creation was 
pervasively marred by the curse as is seen in the paradoxes of human 
affairs listed by Qoheleth (3:1-8). The beauty of which the Preacher 
speaks consists in this, that what occurs among men comes to pass at 
its appointed time as a constituent portion of the whole of God's 
work among men.*^ 

Not only has God ordered the affairs of all creation beautifully, 
he also has put DV^nTiX in the hearts of men (Q2V3). The suffix in 
DaVa refers to the Q"ixr| in v 10. How is oVvn to be understood? Some 
older commentators attempted to translate the word in the sense of 
the Arabic ^lam as 'knowledge' or 'understanding'.^^ With this inter- 
pretation, lUl'X "'Vap is translated "without which," so that the sense 
of the text is: "He has also set knowledge in the hearts of men, 
without which they cannot fathom what God has done from beginning 
to end."^' 

This exegetical course is rejected by most commentators.*^ Appar- 
ently Luther took oVynTlX to mean "the world," "the desire after the 
knowledge of the world," or "worldly mindedness."*^ However, it 
seems best to follow the lead of Delitzsch and others who take DVi7n 
as "eternity. "^° 

The "eternity" which God has put into the hearts of men is a 
certain inquisitiveness and yearning after purpose. It is a compulsive 
drive, a deep-seated desire to appreciate order and beauty, arising 
because man is made in the image of God. It is an impulse to press 
beyond the limits which the present world circumscribes about man 
in order to escape the bondage which holds him in the incessant cycle 
of the seasons and in order to console his anxious mind with meaning 
and purpose.^' It is man's desperate attempt to make sense out of 
what seems senseless and meaningless. Yet, D^vn must not be restricted 
to this, but also must include a residual knowledge of God's eternal 
power and divine nature which God has placed in every man (cf. 

*^Cf. Delitzsch, Ecclesiastes, 259. 
Cf. Stuart, Ecclesiastes, 174-75. But see Delitzsch's response to this, Eccle- 
siastes, 260. 

Stuart's strained conclusions on 3:1 1 are inconsistent with his comments on 8:17. 
See Stuart, Ecclesiastes, 173-74 and 308. 
**See Delitzsch, Ecclesiastes, 260. 
*' Attributed to Luther by Delitzsch, Ecclesiastes, 260. 
'"Ibid., 261. 

caneday: qoheleth: pessimist or sage? 47 

Rom 1:19),^^ for it is this knowledge which gives man his sense that 
there is purpose and meaning (though it entirely eludes him). 

This compulsive desire to appreciate the beauty, symmetry and 
order of creation shows itself differently at various levels. Aesthetically 
man seeks to appreciate creation's beauty as he imitates his creator by 
fashioning beauty with his own hands. Philosophically man pursues 
knowledge of the universe to know its character, composition and 
meaning. Theologically man seeks to discern creation's purpose and 
destiny. Since man has this craving for meaning, a deep-seated in- 
quisitiveness and capacity to learn how everything in this world fits 
together, he seeks to integrate his experience into a meaningful whole. 
He yearns to connect the various pieces of his experience to see each 
portion in the context of the whole of his life. He desperately desires 
to have a meaningful understanding of the world and of life to give 
him direction and mastery. He is like Qoheleth who sought to add 
"one thing to another to discover the scheme of things" (7:27). 

Herein then is the task or burden which God has laid upon the 
sons of Adam: the search for meaning in a disjointed and topsy-turvy 
world. It is not a burden because man is a creature who has only 
limited and derived knowledge. It is a heavy and frustrating burden 
because man's quest for meaning is now performed in a cursed world 
wherein inexplicable paradox dominates — there is birth and death, 
hate as well as love, and more war than peace fills the earth. It is this 
kind of world, uniform yet twisted and marked by gaps, which 
Qoheleth explored and declared to be meaningless. 

In spite of the fact that God has "made everything beautiful in its 
time" (an orderly arrangement even of chaos), and despite the cer- 
tainty that "He also has set eternity in the hearts of men," Qoheleth 
declares, "yet they cannot fathom what God has done from beginning 
to end" (3:11c). This incapacity of man is emphasized repeatedly by 
Qoheleth to establish the meaninglessness which he announced at the 
beginning as his theme. The inability to discover God's purposes and 
design from events and experiences is an essential thread which 
Qoheleth weaves into the fabric of his work. The elusiveness of mean- 
ing becomes the dominant motif in 6:12-11:6. Man is reminded that 
he "cannot discover anything about his future" (7:14; cf. 3:22) because 
God has made both good and evil to befall men quite haphazardly. Is 
proof needed for the inscrutable ways of God? Qoheleth declares, "In 
this meaningless life of mine I have seen both of these: a righteous 
man perishing in his righteousness, and a wicked man living long in 
his wickedness" (7:15). The tyrannies and the benevolences in this 

Otto Zockler, Ecclesiastes, trans. William Wells, in vol. 5, Commentary on the 
Holy Scripture, ed. by J. P. Lange (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1960) 67. 


world, both caused by God, come upon men with disparity and 
inequity, for "righteous men get what the wicked deserve and the 
wicked get what the righteous deserve" (8:14). God has not revealed 
to men the secrets of the purposes which move his actions (cf. 
Deut 29:29). 

Man's limitation and fractional knowledge, as he seeks to "add 
one thing to another to discover the scheme of things" (cf. 7:27), is 
emphasized in 8:7-8a: "Since no man knows the future, who can tell 
him what is to come? No man has power over the wind to contain it; 
so no one has power over the day of his death." The disproportionate 
allotment of God's providence ruins men's illusory hopes of master- 
ing life and discovering the divine meaning and purpose for life's 
experiences and events. "There is something else meaningless that 
occurs on earth: righteous men get what the wicked deserve and 
wicked men get what the righteous deserve" (8:14). Who would chal- 
lenge Qoheleth? He is right! The incongruities and paradoxes that 
baffled Qoheleth bewilder every man. It is this disharmony and 
absurdity that compelled Qoheleth to impart to his readers a realistic 

When 1 applied my mind to know wisdom and to observe man's labor 
on earth — his eyes not seeing sleep day or night — then I saw all that 
God has done. No one can comprehend what goes on under the sun. 
Despite all his efforts to search it out, man cannot discover its mean- 
ing. Even if a wise man claims he knows, he cannot really comprehend 
it [8:16-17]. 

Celebration of Life 

It is precisely in the contexts where Qoheleth magnifies and 
emphasizes man's bewilderment that so many scholars have failed to 
understand Qoheleth. His candid and realistic confessions followed 
by counsel have brought severe criticism. On the one hand, he is 
accused of pessimism for his acknowledgement of the elusiveness of 
meaning and, on the other hand, he is said to be orthodox because of 
his counsel to sane living (see 12:13-14). At some places his counsel is 
viewed as grossly defective. Delitzsch asserts, "If Koheleth had known 
of a future life ... he would have reached a better ultimatum."^'* 
Delitzsch is referring to 3:12-14: 

I know that there is nothing better for men than to be happy and do 
good while they live. That every man may eat and drink, and find 

"Cf. 9:1-3, 11-12. 

'■^Delitzsch, Ecclesiastes, Idl. In contrast to the negative interpretation by Delitzsch, 
see R. N. Whybray, "Qoheleth, Preacher oi ioy," JS0T13, (1982) 87-98. 

caneday: qoheleth: pessimist or sage? 49 

satisfaction in all his toil — this is the gift of God. I know that every- 
thing God does will endure forever; nothing can be added to it and 
nothing taken from it. God does it, so men will revere him. 

Now wherein lies the shortcoming of Qoheleth's counsel? He 
urges men to do good (3lt3) and to be glad (niau;V). The enjoyment to 
be derived from life is coordinate with obedience to divine command- 
ments.^^ This is how men are to conduct themselves as long as they 
are living (T"jn3). Furthermore, that which a man may eat or drink or 
find satisfying in his toil is confessed as "the gift of God." Above all, 
Qoheleth acknowledges that what God does, though it may be per- 
plexing to man, he does "so men will fear him" (3:14). How could 
Qoheleth be more orthodox? Is not this the counsel of one who 
considers the eternal, the future existence of man? If Qoheleth did not 
believe in the resurrection, why would he counsel men to behave 
obediently, fearing God? What is there to fear, if it is not God's 
judgment of resurrected men? 

Qoheleth's world and life view was not fashioned according to a 
natural theology restricted to the affairs of men "under the sun." If 
that were the case, he would have counselled his readers to revelry, 
for he saw in this world that it is the wicked who live long (7:15; 
8:14). He does not envy the way of the ungodly as Asaph began to 
do, nearly to his own destruction (cf. Ps 73:3-17). If Qoheleth had no 
belief in final retribution — the demise of the wicked and the reward- 
ing of the righteous — his counsel would have been, "Let us eat and 
drink, for tomorrow we die" (see 1 Cor 15:32), the very philosophy of 
which he is often accused. Qoheleth does not yield to pessimism and 
despair, nor to an ascetic withdrawal, nor to an anasthetic desensitized 
denial of evil. Instead, from the recognition that what the righteous 
and wicked receive is inverse to their deserts (8:14), he moves directly 
to his holy counsel: "So I commend the enjoyment of life, because 
nothing is better for man under the sun than to eat and drink and be 
glad. Then joy will accompany him in his work all the days of the life 
God has given him under the sun" (8: 15). 

Qoheleth's perspective upon the incongruities of this life is the 
same as Job's who said of the wicked: "Their, prosperity is not in 
their own hands, so I stand aloof from the counsel of the wicked" 
(Job 21:16). Qoheleth says. 

Although a wicked man commits a hundred crimes and still lives a 
long time, 1 know that it will go better with God-fearing men, who 
are reverent before God. Yet because the wicked do not fear God, 

See Delitzsch, Ecclesiastes, Idl concerning a discussion of Qoheleth's use of 3lD 
in 3:12. 


it will not go well with them, and their days will not lengthen like a 
shadow [8:12-13].'' 

Qoheleth formed his world and life view with divine creation and 
divine retribution in mind. This creator-retributor perspective gives 
Qoheleth equilibrium and stability to dwell in a world subjected to 
the curse of God. The creation motif serves as the source of Qoheleth's 
counsel to celebrate life with joy, for it is a good creation of God. The 
eschatological judgment motif is behind his caution to behave obe- 
diently in view of the divine retribution which will reward the righ- 
teous and condemn the wicked. This counsel is gracefully harmonized 
by Qoheleth in his admonition to the young man: 

Be happy young man, while you are young, and let your heart give you 
joy in the days of your youth. Follow the ways of your heart and 
whatever your eyes see, but know that for all these things God will 
bring you to judgment. So then, banish anxiety from your heart and 
cast off the troubles of your body, for youth and vigor are meaning- 
less [1 1:9-10]. 

The joy and freedom of following one's desires is not to be 
dampened by knowledge of coming judgment but only controlled. 
This is not counsel to indulgent and indecent conduct but to freedom 
and joyful celebration of God's good gift of life, tempered by the 
knowledge that the God who created life also holds men accountable 
to revere him. The free pursuit of the heart's desires and whatever the 
eyes see is to be done within the moral boundaries of God's com- 
mandments (see 12:13). Qoheleth's counsel encourages one to cele- 
brate life, unshackled from a search for the meaning of life. 

Qoheleth Interpreted: The Epilogue 

Upon concluding his graphic poem on aging and death, Qoheleth 
closes the body of his book with the theme with which he began: 
"'Meaningless! Meaningless!' says the Preacher. 'Everything is mean- 
ingless!'" (12:8; cf. 1:2). But the verdict is not the final word that 
Qoheleth has for his readers. Instead, he leaves them with a closing 
word of counsel on how to behave in a world that is aimless and 
meaningless as the result of the Creator's curse upon it. That counsel 
is not in the least out of character with the theme of the book. He 
concludes, "Now all has been heard; here is the conclusion of the 
matter: Fear God and keep his commandments, for this is the whole 

See Michael Eaton, Ecclesiastes {Tyada\e Old Testament Commentaries; Leicester: 
Inter-Varsity, 1983) 41-42. His comments are appropriate against those who presume an 
interpolated contradiction in these verses. 

caneday: qoheleth: pessimist or sage? 51 

duty of man. For God will bring every deed into judgment, including 
every hidden thing whether it is good or evil" (12: 13- 14). 

Qoheleth, throughout his book, had repeatedly raised the motif 
of eschatological judgment to motivate obedient behavior despite the 
fact that rotters advance in prosperity and live long in this world 
while the righteous flounder in their struggles and succumb early to 
the curse of death (cf. 3:16, 17; 5:4-7; 8:11-14; 11:9). The final 
judgment serves as a chief orientation to which Qoheleth directs his 
readers to steer them through the labyrinths of this meaningless life. 
The fear of God who shall judge men is to temper and regulate man's 
ethical actions and decisions throughout his sojourning here. And so 
it is appropriate that Qoheleth sums up the duty of man: "Fear God 
and keep his commandments" (12:13; cf. 3:14; 5:7; 7:18; and 8:12-13 
three times). 

Fearing God is motivated by the fact that "God will bring every 
deed into judgment." These two great themes, fearing God and an 
appointed time for divine judgment, serve as integral elements in the 
development of Qoheleth's world and life view. They were not mere 
addendas to a series of unconnected discursive sayings and affirma- 
tions. Rather, the conclusion serves as the knot which secures the 
ethical threads carefully woven into the fabric of the work. Qoheleth 
asserts this to be the case, for he says, "Now all has been heard; here 
is the conclusion of the matter" (12: 13a). 

Consistent with his counsel throughout the book, Qoheleth does 
not permit his reader to despair even though "everything is meaning- 
less." He counsels men to fear God and to obey him because there is a 
time for judgment when they will give account of their conduct and 
secrets, whether they be good or evil. These last words can hardly be 
taken in a crippling manner. Qoheleth did not design his words 
concerning the all-searching eye of God (v 14) to inhibit human 
enjoyment and behavior nor to cast his readers into introspective 
questioning of motives. Rather, knowledge of divine judgment should 
regulate one's conduct with a prospective gaze of expectation toward 
the day when justice shall eradicate all inequity, when divine mercy 
shall purge out all oppression, when the righteous shall flourish as the 
wicked are cut off (cf. 3:16-17; 8:12-14). 

Qoheleth 's World and Life View Summarized 

As Qoheleth made his thorough investigation (1:13) of all that is 
done under heaven, he was governed by basic presuppositional beliefs 
which are expressed throughout his work. These presuppositions 
largely arise out of his knowledge of God's revelation of himself in 
Genesis 1-11. Foundational to his philosophical pursuit of meaning 
is his firm recognition that the world with all its systems, and man in 


particular as actor, operate under the curse of God. This he expresses 
in terms of things twisted and things lacking (1:15). The presence of 
evil is not to be attributed to the essence of creation but as a foreign 
element imposed upon it, for "Who can straighten what he [God] has 
made crooked?" (7:13). Furthermore, God did not capriciously impose 
this curse, but "God made mankind upright, but men have gone in 
search of many schemes" (7:29). Thus, it is the curse which accounts 
for the inequity, the tyranny, the oppression, the disparity of provi- 
dence, and especially for the presence of death and its haphazard 
encroachment without respect to men's characters (cf. 9:1-3). 

This basic presuppositional belief that the world is not what it 
was originally nor what it will be finally governs Qoheleth's ethical 
world and life view. This is due to the fact that the transformation of 
the world is not accomplished by some evolutionary process inherent 
within creation itself, but by the God who created the universe and 
also subjected it to its present frustration under the curse and who 
will finally liberate it (cf. Rom 8:19-21). 

For Qoheleth, then, there is a second and much more ultimate 
presupposition which regulates all his observations of this evil world 
and his wise counsel on how to live in it. The entire book rests solidly 
upon the assumption that the Lord God of Israel is the Creator and 
Governor of all things. He is the Creator who set all things into 
motion (12:1; 1 1:5). He is the Sovereign who governs all that he has 
created. He does not merely permit or allow the present suffering and 
evil in the world. Qoheleth acknowledges that it is God who causes 
both the good and the bad to befall men irrespective of their char- 
acters (7:14-15). It is God who gives a man wealth and yet may not 
give him the enjoyment of it, an evil which is vexing to men (6:1-2). 
Though it is God who gives both the good and the evil, he is not to be 
charged with doing evil; he is only to be feared precisely because of 
all that he does among men (3:14). 

God is also perceived by Qoheleth as Incomprehensible Wisdom, 
for the creator/ creature distinction, aggravated by the curse, hides 
God behind a frowning providence which hinders man from discover- 
ing life's meaning in this cursed world (3:1 1; 7:13-14; 8:16-17; 1 1:3-6). 
Man's knowledge of what God does as he observes the world is frac- 
tional and frustrated by the perplexing paradoxes. It is precisely this 
fact, namely, that almighty God has hidden his full character behind 
a disparate providence, that necessitates his special revelation. ^^ 

"Shank ("Qoheleth's World and Life View," 68) astutely states, "We must main- 
tain, contrary to the majority of critical and conservative commentators, that Qoheleth's 
perception . . . refers to a knowledge which is a 'reflex-action' of his fear of God and 
which penetrates to the essence of the meaning of what this world of vanity is all 
about. . . . That perception also includes a deep, spiritual insight into the affects of the 
curse of God upon life and labor 'under the sun.'" 

caneday: qoheleth: pessimist or sage? 53 

The antithetical quaUty of Qoheleth must be understood within 
this framework. The proposal of liberal critics that the oscillations of 
thought and expression are to be attributed either to a dialogue 
between two or more speakers or the result of glossators and redactors 
must be rejected. ^^ Furthermore, the proposed solution of many 
conservative scholars also must be laid aside. The suggestion that 
Qoheleth's book is indicative of a man who wavers between secular 
and religious perspectives, oscillating to and fro, filled with doubts 
and perplexities, yet finally arising above them, has no true corre- 
spondence to the nature of Qoheleth. Even the attempt to resolve 
the paradoxical nature of the book by suggesting that the evils and 
inequities, of which the Preacher complains, are only an "apparent 
anomaly"^^ must be disallowed. 

The paradoxical expressions and antithetical observations of 
God's disparate providence do not find their explanation from some 
internal struggle in Qoheleth between faith and reason. Nor are they 
resolved by postulating that they are the result of a dichotomy between 
sacred and secular perspectives. Rather, Qoheleth reflects the real 
world in its present state which is in conflict with the way it once was 
and the way it will be again. It is the curse, causing the twisting and 
incompleteness (1:15) of all things, that accounts for the dilemma 
which confronts man. Qoheleth hides no evil nor does he seek to deny 
it as merely apparent. He confronts the reality of evil and seeks to 
bring his readers to do the same. Yet, on the other hand, Qoheleth 
maintains an unwavering belief in the God who created and who will 
judge all men. For after all is said and done, it is God who has 
arranged the world as it is so that men will fear him (3:14). 

Qoheleth does not shrink from acknowledging that it is God 
who has made both the good times and the bad (7:14). Yet, he 
never resorts to a fatalism which encourages either pious passivity or 
Epicurean indulgence. He takes the pathway of wisdom. The fact that 
God has inscrutably arranged this world under the perplexity and 
frustration of the curse, caused Qoheleth to declare, "Therefore, a 
man cannot discover anything about his future" (7:14b). Man is not 
to busy himself with the inscrutable. He is not to become occupied 
with trying to determine which course it is that is divinely chosen for 

Qoheleth makes it clear that it is futile to seek to determine from 
the course of providential events whether or not divine approval rests 
upon one's amoral decisions, however great or small they may be. 

'*Cf. Eaton, Ecclesiastes, 37-39. 

"See [Greene], "The Scope and Plan of Ecclesiastes," 424. This view is too much 
dominated by presuming that the final retribution cuts its line now with vividness. See 
also ibid., 424-25. Cf. Kaiser, Ecclesiastes, 17. 


Searching divine providence to determine one's course of action is not 
piety, but folly which leads to inactivity and failure. For "whoever 
watches the wind will not plant; whoever looks at the clouds will not 
reap" (11:4). The mystery of providence is unfathomable and in- 
scrutable (11:5). "No one can comprehend what goes on under the 
sun. Despite all his efforts to search it out, man cannot discover its 
meaning. Even if a wise man claims he knows, he cannot really com- 
prehend it" (8:17). Trying to discern providence will drive one mad, 
for it presumes that God's providence bears a direct and invariable 
correspondence to the events among men. Such misguided efforts 
cause men to turn upon God in bitterness or berate themselves when 
evil days befall them, thinking that suffering is always caused by par- 
ticular sins. 

Qoheleth counsels against "providence reading," for those who 
follow such a course fail to succeed at anything (1 1:4). Instead, since 
no man can know which endeavors will prove fruitful, the proper 
approach to life is to give oneself to the responsibilities at hand with 
freedom and diligence, and to await the course of events to determine 
one's success (1 1:6). All the days a man is given ought to be enjoyed 
(1 1:8), for "it is now that God favors what you do" (9:7b). Life is a 
divine gift to be enjoyed to its maximum as long as there is breath in 
the nostrils, for "even a live dog is better off than a dead lion" (9:4). 
Life is an endowment to be presently celebrated in the presence of the 
Creator (12:1). The enjoyment of life is to be the dominant motif of 
one's existence upon this earth, not the mercenary fixation of a miserly 
workman who hoards his earnings to satisfy his soul when he retires 
from his labors. The days of trouble come too quickly and unpre- 
dictably upon men eroding their pleasure and enjoyment (12:1-2). 
This perspective upon life is not sensual; it is realistic. It is governed 
by the fact that this world is cursed, and the ultimate curse is death 
(9:1, 3). Death is not something to be desired as a release from the 
prison of the body (as in Neoplatonism), for it wrenches man away 
from the environment in which he was designed to dwell (cf. Ps 1 15:16- 
17). Death is no friend but an enemy which violently tears a man 
apart, severing the spirit from the body (12:7). This is the perspective 
that the whole Bible takes upon death (cf. Isa 38:10-20; 2 Cor 5:1-5). 

For Qoheleth, then, two opposing realities serve to motivate his 
expressions in 9:5-10: (1) the curse of death comes to every man, and 
(2) the gift of life is man's to be enjoyed to its fullest "all the days of 
this meaningless life that God has given you under the sun" (9:9). His 
whole description of the dead in 9:5-6 is defined carefully by him — 
"never again will they have a part in anything that happens under the 
sun" (9:6b). His interest is not to describe theologically the state of 
the dead (as Jehovah's Witnesses might contend), but he portrays the 

caneday: qoheleth: pessimist or sage? 55 

dead in relation to this world; they have nothing more to do with 
it. It is for this reason that Qoheleth so often reiterates his celebration 
of life: 

Go, eat your food with gladness, and drink your wine with a joyful 
heart, for it is now that God favors what you do. Always be clothed in 
white, and always anoint your head with oil. Enjoy life with your wife, 
whom you love, all the days of this meaningless life that God has given 
you under the sun — all your meaningless days. For this is your lot in 
life and in your toilsome labor under the sun. Whatever your hand 
finds to do, do it with all your might, for in the grave, where you are 
going, there is neither working nor planting nor knowledge nor wis- 
dom [9:7-10]. 


Qoheleth was no enigmatic pessimist. He was not a man who 
recorded the battle of tormenting and conflicting thoughts that raged 
inside his own mind as he oscillated between orthodox piety and 
indulgent secularism. Qoheleth was a godly sage. He was a righteous 
man regulated by his knowledge of and devout fear of the God of 
Israel. It is precisely because he was a God-fearing man that Qoheleth 
was capable of giving expression to such paradoxical and anomalous 
matters without denying the presence of evil in this world or without 
destroying his belief in God. Qoheleth records a godly man's reflec- 
tions upon a cursed world subjected by God to vanity and frustration. 
It is the character of such a world which accounts for the polarized 
expressions and paradoxical observations in his book. It is precisely 
what one scholar dogmatically denied: "That the author of Ecclesiastes 
intended that the contrarities of his book should . . . reflect and image 
forth the chequered web of man's earthly condition, hopes alternating 
with fears, joys succeeded by sorrows, life contrasting with death. "'°^ 

What Paul asserts in a few words in Rom 8:19-21, Qoheleth 
investigates at length. Where Paul spoke generally, the Preacher 
descended to uncover the particulars. Though Paul had the privilege 
of knowing that Christ will restore all things and even now, in 
principle, has begun to do so (cf. 1 Cor 15:54-57), both he and 
Qoheleth share one biblical assessment of the character of this world 
and of life in it since the fall. It is cursed! It is disjointed! It is upside 
down! It is in bondage to decay! It is meaningless! It needs to be 

What Qoheleth saw obscurely in the coming day of final retribu- 
tion, the apostle Paul makes clear: "creation itself will be liberated 

Tyler, Ecclesiastes, 54. 


from its bondage to decay and brought into the glorious freedom of 
the children of God" (Rom 8:21). It is for the final redemption of 
God's people that creation awaits, for then will it be set free from 
what is now twisted and lacking (Qoh 1:15). 

Grace TheologicalJournall A (1986) 57-80 



PSALM 104:1-9 

David G. Barker 

Ps 104:6-9 is viewed as a reference to the flood of Noah, not the 
original creation week. Support for this interpretation is drawn from 
broad studies in the psalm 's setting, literary structure, and grammar. 
Current literature on the psalm is brought into the discussion. The 
conclusion is drawn that the psalm displays a unique cosmology and 
a perspective including not only Yahweh's creative power, but also 
Yahweh's providential control in Judgment and blessing. More specifi- 
cally, Ps 104:8a speaks of the catastrophic tectonic activities associated 
with the Genesis flood. 


PSALM 104 is a majestic hymn of praise which extols Yahweh as 
creator and sustainer of the natural world. As a companion 
hymn to Psalm 103, it calls upon the individual worshiper to add his 
voice to the vast chorus of praise ascending to the very heavenly 
dwelling place of God. 

The specific issue for discussion in this study is the meaning of 
vv 6-9. Most would argue that the psalm reflects the six day creation 
week of Genesis 1, and that the specific reference in Ps 104:6-9 
is to the events of the first two days of the week which culminate 
in Gen 1:9. However, others have suggested that the Noahic flood 
is in view here, and that the psalm goes far beyond the limits of 
Genesis 1. 

Additionally, a specific problem is encountered in the translation 
and interpretation of v 8a of the psalm. What is going up and down? 
Is it the waters or the mountains? If the former is accepted, both 
textual and imagery problems develop; if the latter, contextual prob- 
lems arise. 

The purpose of this article, therefore, is to determine if it is a 
viable alternative to interpret Ps 104:6-9 as a reference to the Noahic 
deluge. Additionally, it will seek to determine the best translation of 
V 8a in light of syntax, imagery and context. A more general purpose 


of this Study, however, is to exegete Ps 104:1-9 taking into considera- 
tion factors such as structure, setting, and Hterary history. 

Essential to ascertaining the proper interpretation of Ps 104:6-9 
is a broad analysis of the psalm in terms of its form, its setting in 
Israel's liturgy, and its literary relationships with similar ancient Near 
Eastern hymns. The first section of this study covers these areas. In 
particular, of great significance is the analysis of the psalm to deter- 
mine if, in fact, the six day creation week forms the organizational 
skeleton, or if there are other structural analyses that would see the 
psalm in a broader perspective. Then the second section supplies an 
exegesis of vv 1-9 which is built upon the backgrounds and structural 
framework determined in the first section. The first five verses are 
included in this study in order to provide a preparatory textual 
analysis for the treatment of vv 6-9. 

It is shown that vv 5-13 form an independent stanza of the 
psalm, with two subunits comprised of vv 5-9 and 10-13 respectively. 
Therefore, for the sake of completeness, vv 10-13 and their relation- 
ship to the previous subunit are summarized. The critical text for 
analysis is vv 6-9. Therefore, while the psalm is analyzed in its entirety 
for the purpose of ascertaining structure, the study basically limits 
itself to the first nine verses. While a thorough analysis of the entire 
psalm would obviously be profitable, a satisfactory solution to the 
problems noted above may be determined within the parameters out- 
lined for this study. 


Several considerations must be taken into account when a study 
of the setting of Psalm 104 is undertaken. These may be enumerated 
as follows: (1) the question of the place of the psalm in the liturgy of 
Israel, (2) its literary relationship to other similar ancient Near Eastern 
hymns, (3) its literary relationship to the Genesis account of creation, 
and (4) an analysis of the structure of the psalm itself. 

The Psalm in Israel's Liturgy 

Allen argues that on the basis of the initial and final self exhorta- 
tion, as well as the personal references in vv 33-34, the psalm can be 
characterized as an "individual hymn."' However, it has usually been 
assigned a role in the corporate worship of Israel as a self exhortation 
to praise which in turn was to inspire communal worship.^ Several 

Leslie K. Allen, Psalms 101-150, in Word Biblical Commentary, ed. David A. 
Hubbard, et al. (Waco, TX: Word, 1983) 28. 

barker: the waters of the earth 59 

have attempted to identify a specific setting for the psalm. Humbert 
links the psalm with some kind of Israelite autumn festival parallel 
with the Babylonian New Year Festival,^ though his position has not 
been widely accepted/ Craigie argues for the setting of the dedication 
of Solomon's temple.^ He maintains that the psalm is firmly within 
the indigenous Hebrew poetic tradition, and that a reconstruction of 
1 Kgs 8:12-13 based on the LXX reflects the imagery of Psalm 104/ 
The first two lines of the Kings passage as reconstructed are viewed as 
reflecting Egyptian and Mesopotamian sun hymns^ with a polemic 
intent. Additionally, he believes that the last two lines reflect the 
adaptation of a Ugaritic Baal myth with, however, a retention of the 
distinctive Hebrew theology concerning the temple as a dwelling 
place for Yahweh. These same motifs are evident in Psalm 104; hence, 
its association with Solomon's temple dedication.* Nevertheless, the 
evidence both for the reconstruction of the Kings text and the associa- 
tion of Psalm 104 with Solomon's Temple dedication is rather tenu- 
ous. Certainly, there is nothing that militates against an early date for 
the psalm, but the attempt to be this precise is somewhat precarious. 

Criisemann has contended for a late date and non-cultic setting for 
the psalm based on the mixed nature of the form of the hymn (plural 
summons, self exhortation, etc.).' However, several lines of evidence 
have been forwarded which favor a pre-exilic date. These include the 
preterite use of the imperfect, the use of in'n in vv 11 and 20, and 
perhaps the usage of HT as a relative pronoun in vv 8 and 26 (cf. l^H 
invv 16, 17).'° 

It should be noted that Psalm 103 opens and closes in the same 
way as Psalm 104 and is attributed to David. Psalm 104 is untitled 
except in the LXX which attributes it to David, and claims have 
been made that the LXX should be accepted because of the com- 
mon opening and closing invocations. However, the common struc- 
ture is reason enough to explain their juxtaposition in the psalter and 

'p. Humbert, "La relation de Genese et du Psaume 104 avec la liturgie du Nouvel- 
An israelite," RHPR 15 (1935) 22-27. 

"See in particular A. van der Voort, "Genese 1:1a 2:4a et Psaume 104," RB 58 

'Peter C. Craigie, "The Comparison of Hebrew Poetry: Psalm 104 in Light of 
Egyptian and Ugaritic Poetry," Semitics 4 (1974) 19. 

'Ibid., 10, 19. 

'For examples of such hymns, see the "Hymn to Aton" {A NET, 369-71) and the 
"Shamash Hymn" {A NET, 389-90). 

^Craigie, "Comparison," 10, 19. 

'F. Criisemann, Studien zur Formgeschichte von Hymnus and Danklied in Israel 
(WMANT 32; Neukirchen-Vluyn: Neukirchener, 1969) 301-2. 

'°Cf. D. A. Robertson, Linguistic Evidence in Dating Early Hebrew Poetry (SBLDS 
3; Missoula: Scholars, 1972) 42-43, 54, 63, 77; cf. Allen, Psalms, 29. 


common authorship is in no way required.'' Thus, the hymn seems to 
have been a companion hymn to Psalm 103 which then may very well 
place it into the Davidic liturgical setting. 

The Psalm in Relation to ANE Hymnology 

Recent scholarship has stressed the resemblances between this 
psalm and Ahkenaton's Hymn to the Sun (14th C. b.c.).'^ The refer- 
ences to lions creeping about at night (vv 20-21; cf. lines 17-20), 
man's daytime activities (vv 22-23; cf. lines 27-29), the contentment 
of animals and birds (vv 1 1-14; cf. lines 30-36), activities of creatures 
and ships of the sea (vv 25-26; cf. lines 37-40), the adulation of the 
creator by creation (v 24; cf. lines 58-60), the dependence of man 
upon God (v 27; cf. lines 66-67), waters and mountains (vv 6, 10; cf. 
lines 66-67), and finally the life giving character of the divine being 
(vv 29-30; cf. lines 108-9),'^ all seem to indicate some kind of literary 

Some have tried to prove a direct relationship between Akhena- 
ton's hymn and the psalm.'" Breasted states, "The hymn of Ikhnaton 
thus reveals to us the source of the Hebrew Psalmist's recognition of 
the gracious goodness of God in the maintenance of his creatures, 
even the most insignificant."'^ 

While most commentators stress some kind of relationship, cau- 
tion is usually expressed. Dahood and others posit a Canaanite 
mediation of the hymn.'^ It is postulated that the Phoenicians, because 
of their close commercial and cuhural contact with Egypt, brought 
the hymn into their own literary history, and that the Hebrews 
obtained it from the Phoenicians.'^ Bernhardt argues, on the basis of 
both theological and cosmological differences, that the relationship is 
quite general. He maintains that there was a similar literary Gattung in 
ancient Egypt and that it is not necessary to suggest that the psalmist 

"M\en, Psalms, 26. 

''A NET, 369-71. 

"Cf. ibid., 370-71; also Allen, Psalms, 29. 

'"Criisemann, Studien, 287; James Breasted, The Dawn of Conscience (New York: 
Charles Scribners', 1933), 366-70; A. Weigall, The Life and Times of Akhnaton. 
Pharaoh of Egypt {reVised; London: Butterworth, 1922), 134-36. 

"Breasted, The Dawn of Conscience, 368. 

'*M. Dahood, Psalms III, 101-150 (AB; Garden City, NY: Doubleday, 1970) 33; 
cf. Georges Nagel, "A propos des rapports du psaume 104 avec les textes ^gyptiens," 
Festschrift fur Alfred Bertholet, ed. O. Eissfeldt, et al. (Tubingen: J. C. B. Mohr, 1950) 
395-403; H.-J. Kraus, Psalmen (BKAT 15:2.5; Ausgabe, Neukirchen-Vluyn: Neu- 
kirchener, 1978) 880; and Pierre Auffert, "Note sur la structure litt^raire du Psaume 
104 et ses incidences pour une comparison avec I'Hymne a Aton et Gen 1," RSR (1982) 

"Dahood, Psalms III, 33. 

barker: the waters of the earth 61 

had a specific knowledge of the Egyptian hymn.'^ Craigie argues from 
a similar angle, maintaining that common motifs, subject matter, and 
intent will naturally result in similar hymns.'' As noted previously, he 
finds parallels in other Egyptian sun hymns, a Mesopotamian hymn 
to Shamash, and in particular, the Ugaritic Baal myth.^° However, he 
maintains that this may well indicate an association of ideas rather 
than a literary relationship.^' Craigie 's thesis, particularly concerning 
the Ugaritic Baal myth, is built heavily upon the reconstruction of the 
1 Kgs 8:12-13 text, and upon the fact that Phoenician craftsmen were 
used in the construction of the temple. This latter fact causes Craigie 
to see the psalm as a polemic against the theology of Baal. This may 
well be so, but it does not prove the literary dependence he seeks to 

Kidner is aware of the various similarities between Ahkenaton's 
hymn and the psalm, but also aptly notes the wide divergences 
between the two, both in content and theology. He states, "Theologi- 
cally, it displays the incalculable difference between worshipping the 
sun and worshipping its Maker; indeed the psalm's apparent allusions 
to this famous hymn seem designed to call attention to this very 
point. "^^ Hence, there is no reason to suggest literary dependence 
upon these pagan hymns or borrowing of theological concepts and 
ideas. A description by the psalmist of the natural world inevitably 
leads to ideas and imagery common to religious expression but which 
also can be used as an apology for the true God and a polemic 
against false gods. 

The Psalm in Relation to Genesis 

That there is some relationship to the Genesis account of creation 
is obvious. Sequences are largely the same and there is an overlap of 
vocabulary. ^^ Kidner maintains that the psalm is modelled "fairly 
closely" on Genesis 1 and that the stages of creation are starting 
points for praise within the psalm. ^'^ 

However, the nature and extent of this relationship is not so 
obvious. Allen observes that there is a basic difference in style — the 
psalm is exuberant and free while Genesis is schematic and logical. 

"K. H. Bernhardt, "Amenhophis IV and Psalm 104," MIO 15 (1969) 205-6. 
"Craigie, "Comparison," 13-15. 

^^Derek Kidner, Psalms 73-150, in the Tyndale Old Testament Commentaries, ed. 
J. Wiseman (Downers Grove: Inter- Varsity, 1975), 367-68. 
"Ibid., 368. 
^"Cf. Kidner's chart (Ibid.) and also Allen's brief discussion (Psalms, 31). 


There are also some differences in the order of events, particularly 
concerning men and animals.^' 

Humbert argues that Psalm 104 depends upon Genesis,^* while 
van der Voort argues, on the basis of various differences and the use 
of anthropomorphisms, that Genesis reflects the use of the psalm.^^ 
Craigie and Anderson opt for a mediating position of a common 
cultic origin for both texts. ^* From a more conservative perspective, 
one would have to acknowledge the priority of the Genesis text.^^ 

However, of greater concern for this study is the commonly 
accepted notion that the psalm reflects only the days of creation as 
recorded in Gen 1:1-2:3. Fullarton argues that the sequence of the 
creative days is "the most outstanding factor in the structure of the 
psalm."^° Kidner also develops his whole discussion around the days 
of creation and says that later scenes in the psalm develop initial 
glimpses with the result that there is a mingUng and overlapping of 
the creation days as described in Genesis.^' Yet as these various 
analyses are examined, one quickly finds that the attempt to relegate 
the psalm to such strictures is artificial. Some emend the text to fit 
their preconceived structure,^^ while others excuse sections that do 
not precisely fit the pattern on the basis of an exuberant style or 
poetic license." 

Therefore, one suspects that while Genesis 1 may be in view, this 
does not exhaust the full intent and content of the hymn. Rather, it is 
apparent that the psalm goes beyond the creation motif into a more 
general motif of providential preservation of the world by God. This 
not only explains statements regarding God's general preservation of 
creation, but also explains references to the destruction of his creation 
through the global catastrophe of the Noahic deluge, an integral part 
of ancient Hebrew cosmology. 

"Allen, Psalms, 31. 

^*Humbert, "La relation," 21. 

"van der Voort, "Genese 1:1a 2:4a," 341-46. 

^^Craigie, "Comparison," 18; A. A. Anderson, The Book of Psalms, vol. 2 (NCB; 
Greenwood: Attic, 1972) 717. 

^'Cf. Kidner, Psalms 73-150, 368; and F. Delitzsch, Psalms, vol. 3 trans. Francis 
Bolton in Biblical Commentary on the Old Testament (reprint; Grand Rapids: Eerd- 
mans, 1970) 127. It is far beyond the scope of this study to discuss the date and 
authorship of the Pentateuch. A Mosaic authorship and 15th century b.c. date for the 
Pentateuch is assumed for purposes of this study, which de facto results in the priority 
of Genesis over most of the psalmic materials. 

'"Kemper Fullarton, "The FeeUng for Form in Psalm 104," JBL 40 (1921) 43. 

"Kidner, Psalms 73-150, 368. 
As does Fullarton, "Feeling for Form," 48, who in turn accuses Gunkel, Staerk, 
Duhm, Briggs and others of going too far in this regard. 

"As does Kidner, Psalms 73-150, 368. 

barker: the waters of the earth 63 

The next logical step, therefore, is an analysis of the structure of 
the psalm to determine whether it can be structurally limited to the 
creation narrative. 

Literary Analyses of the Psalm 

As Allen observes, little specific work has been done on the 
structure of the psalm/"* Paragraph divisions are usually assigned on 
the basis of apparent thought changes with little regard for internal 
textual criteria. ^^ 

An early analysis was suggested by Fullarton who manipulated 
the material in order to fit in the first five days of the creation week 
of Genesis. He states, "The key to the analysis is, of course, the first 
chapter of Genesis. "^^ He is rather free in his handling of the text, 
transposing vv 16 and 17 to fit between vv 11 and 12 in stanza 3 
(vv 10-12),^^ and suggesting that v 18 was added when the last part of 
stanza 4 (vv 13-15) was lost.^* Obviously there is a measure of arti- 
ficiality here, since there is no attempt to establish the structure from 
internal textual data. 

Kidner also maintains that the psalm is structured around the 
creation week.^^ Day 1 is seen in v 2a; day 2 in 2b-4; day 3 in 5-9 
with elaboration in 10-18; day 4 in 19-23 and perhaps 24; day 5 in 
25-26 (but only the sea); and day 6 is "anticipated" in 21-24 and 
discussed in 27-28 (and perhaps 29-30) in terms of "food appointed 
for all creatures."'*" As noted previously, he recognizes that the days 
of Genesis overlap and mingle and that the days of creation are only 
starting points for the creation drama.'" Yet there is still a measure of 
artificiality in his attempt to impose the structure of Genesis 1 on the 

Recently, however, two studies have suggested structural formula- 
tions for the psalm. Alden postulates a ten-strophe chiastic structure 
shown by the following pattern:"^ 

'"Allen, Psalms, 3\. 

''E.g., G. R. Driver, "The Resurrection of Marine and Terfestrial Creatures," 755 
7 (1962) 22; cf. also E. Beauchamp, "Structure strophique des Psaumes" RevScRel 58 
(1968) 199-223. 

'^Fullarton, "Feeling for Form," 45. 

"Ibid., 47. 

'*Ibid., 48. 

"Kidner, Psalms 73-150, 368. 



"^Robert L. Alden, "Chiastic Psalms III: A Study in the Mechanics of Semitic 
Poetry in Psalms 101-150," y£r5 21 (1978)201. 


1 A Bless the lord, O my soul. 

2-14 B God's creation of the land and what is on it. 

15 C The benefits to man 

16-18 D The benefits to animals 

19a E The moon 

19b E The sun 

20-22 D Animals work at night 

23 C Man works in the daytime 

24-32 B God's creation of the seas and what is in them. 

33-35 A Bless the lord, O my soul. 

He observes that the B stanzas are long, but notes several key terms 
that seemingly tie them together.'*^ The major criticisms of this analysis 
are the relative imbalance of the various stanzas and the rather novel 
determinations of the boundaries of the stanzas. 

Allen has suggested a five-strophe structure with subdivisions of 
the central three units.'*'* His analysis m^y be schematized as follows: 

A w 1-4 
B VV5-13 
bi w5-9 
hi vv 10-13 
C vv 14-23 
Ci vv 14-18 
C2 vv 19-23 
B' vv 24-30 
bi vv 24-26 
bz w 27-30 
A' vv 3 1-35 

Several factors that Allen notes need to be emphasized. First, the 
term Ti^^ ends strophe A and begins strophe A'; it also ends strophe 
B and begins strophe B'; finally it stands in the middle of strophe C 
(v 19). Second, the divine name mn^ in strophes A and A' serve to 
indicate their complementary nature. Third, the repetition of the terms 
DIX and n"T3^ in both vv 14 and 23 indicate an inclusio, marking the 
limits of the central strophe (C). A similar phenomenon is observable 
with the repetition of the term fix in vv 5 and 13, again indicating an 
inclusio and marking the limits of strophe B, as well as a central 
instance of the term at v 9. Additionally, a clear theme dominates 
strophe B as indicated by the fourfold repetition of the term D^in. 
Finally, clear indications of a new thought are observable by the 
exclamation at v 24 (beginning strophe B') and the expression of the 
wish at V 31 (beginning stroph A')."*^ 


"■•Allen, Psalms, 32. 

barker: the waters of the earth 65 

Allen's presentation is quite convincing, especially in light of the 
fact that it essentially retains the more traditional subdivisions (such 
as in BHS), yet puts them into structural perspective. Allen concludes, 
"The common exegetical divisions are thus vindicated by and large, 
but their role within the overall structure has hitherto been missed."''^ 

This particular analysis has clear implications for the present 
study. As noted earlier, commentators have insisted that the psalm 
essentially reflects the six day creation week of Gen 1:1-2:3. How- 
ever, while the events of the six day creation week may be reflected in 
the material, these events are not the skeleton upon which the psalm 
is constructed. The hymn goes beyond the stricture of Genesis 1 into 
a statement of Yahweh's general relationship to the world, both as 
creator and sustainer (cf. Col 1:16-17). When the artificial Hmiting of 
the scope of the psalm to the creation event in Israel's cosmology is 
removed, God's general providence throughout history can be seen. 
This opens the way for seeing vv 6-9 in particular as a reference to 
the great deluge of Genesis 6-9. 

For purposes of this study, therefore, Allen's structural analysis 
has been adopted and applied directly to the verses under study. 


It may be stated in summary that although the date and pro- 
venience of the psalm are uncertain, there is no reason to relegate it 
to the post-exilic era. 

Second, although there are resemblances to other ancient Near 
Eastern hymns, there is no convincing evidence to suggest that the 
psalm is either directly or indirectly dependent upon such sources. 
Rather, similarities arise from common imagery and intent. The 
theology of Psalm 104 is vastly different from the other ancient Near 
Eastern materials and one must conclude that there was an autono- 
mous literary development. This is not to say that the hymn was 
composed in a vacuum, but that the theological concepts are founded 
in the moral and ethical monotheism of the Hebrew faith. 

Third, there is an obvious literary relationship to the Genesis 
account of creation. However, from a structural analysis, it is clear 
that the psalm cannot be restricted to the scope of Genesis 1 . Rather, 
the psalm describes the creative and providential acts of Yahweh in 
the world. 




As Stated at the outset, the primary purpose of this study is to 
determine the significance of the psalmist's statements concerning 
Yahweh's activities in relation to the waters described in vv 6-9. It 
has already been established structurally that the psalm speaks of 
more than the creation week of Genesis. Now it becomes necessary to 
examine the text in detail to determine more precisely the intent of 
the psalmist. 

An Outline of the Psalm 

Based on Allen's analysis, the following broad outline has been 

lA. Prologue: Yahweh is introduced as the majestic and sovereign 

God of the created universe (vv 1-4) 
2A. Stanza 1: Yahweh uses the waters of the earth both to destroy 
and to sustain the creation (vv 5-13) 
lb. The waters of the earth once covered the earth but now are 

established in their place (vv 5-9) 
2b. The waters of the earth now provide for all of Yahweh's creation 
(vv 10-13) 
3A. Stanza 2: Yahweh providentially controls and provides for the 
world of man (vv 14-23) 
lb. This providential care extends to the vegetation of the earth 
by which provision is made for man's joy and strengthening 
(vv 14-18) 
2b. This providential care extends to the control of the heavens by 
which both human and animal activities are regulated (vv 19-23) 
4A. Stanza 3: Yahweh is in total sovereign control of the world, both 
in its creation and in its sustaining (vv 24-30) 
lb. This sovereign activity created the waters upon and in which 

ships and living creatures exist (vv 24-26) 
2b. This sovereign activity determines life and death for all of creation 
(vv 27-30) 
5A. Epilogue: Praise to Yahweh for his powerful creative and provi- 
dential activities (w 31-35) 

Outline of Verses 1-13 

Since this study is primarily concerned with vv 6-9, a more 
precise outline has been developed for the prologue and first stanza. 

lA. Prologue: Yahweh is introduced as the majestic and sovereign 
God of the created universe (vv 1-4) 
lb. Invocation (v la) 
2b. A statement of Yahweh's greatness and majesty (v Ibc) 

barker: the waters of the earth 67 

3b. A description of Yahweh's greatness and majesty (vv 2-4) 
Ic. Yahweh's regal attire (v 2a) 
2c. Yahweh's regal tent (v 2b) 
3c. Yahweh's regal chambers (v 3a) 
4c. Yahweh's regal chariot (v 3b) 
5c. Yahweh's regal walk (v 3c) 
6c. Yahweh's regal messengers (v 4) 
2A. Stanza 1: Yahweh uses the waters of the earth both to destroy 
and to sustain the creation (vv 5-13) 
lb. The waters of the earth once covered the earth, but now are 
established in their place (vv 5-9) 
Ic. The earth is founded (v 5) 
2c. The earth undergoes a deluge of water (vv 6-9) 
Id. The waters cover the earth (v 6) 
2d. The waters flee from the surface of the earth (vv 7-8) 
3d. The waters are established in their place (v 9) 
2b. The waters of the earth now provide for all of Yahweh's creation 
(vv 10-13) 

Ic. The act of Yahweh in providing water for sustenance (v 10) 
2c. A specific statement from grateful recipients for such provi- 
sion (vv 11-12) 
3c. A general statement of the creation's satisfaction for God's 
care (v 1 3) 

Textual Analysis 

Prologue: Yahweh is introduced as the majestic and sovereign God 
of the created universe (vv 1-4) 

Invocation (v la) 

The anonymous introductory phrase HliT'TiX "'U^pJ ""Dna is repeated 
at the end of the psalm (v 35) forming an inclusio. This establishes the 
psalm as a hymn of praise to Yahweh, with particular emphasis upon 
individual praise as indicated by the term "'tt^pJ.''^ The term li'pa is 
probably best rendered by the term "person" or "self," or even simply 
by the personal pronoun. ''^ Hence, the psalmist is calling upon himself 
to praise Yahweh. At the same time it should be remembered that the 
psalm was in all likelihood sung as a corporate expression of praise in 
temple worship.'*^ 

The term "'313, a piel imperative from "^13, means to "bless, praise, 
salute."^'' Oswalt states that to bless in the OT means "to endue with 

'Ibid., 28. 

'Bruce K. Waltke, "u;?:," TWOT 2:590. 

'Allen, Psalms, 28. 

'BDB, 138. 


power for success, prosperity, fecundity, longevity etc."^' However, 
when used in acknowledgement of Israel's covenant God, the emphasis 
is upon praise for Yahweh and his saving activities on behalf of Israel 
or the individual worshiper." Hence, the psalm begins with a personal 
invocation for praise for Yahweh's mighty and majestic acts in the 
world of man. 

A Statement of Yahweh's Greatness and Majesty (v Ibc) 

This unit is identifiable by the usage of two perfect verbs (n"?"!?, 
T\p^Y^ note the following participles in v 2). After an introductory 
self-appropriation of Yahweh as the psalmist's personal God," the 
psalmist makes a straightforward attributive statement, ixa nVlJ, 
followed by a metaphorical statement, riU'sV TinT lln. The terms lin 
and Tin seem to have been chosen for their literary assonance and 
contain clear royal connotations (cf. Job 40:10; Ps 96:6). Thus royal 
imagery is consistent with the descriptions that are to follow (cf. 
vv 2-4). Delitzsch observes TliiT Tin is not the glory that belongs 
to God (as Jude 25), but rather it is the glory that he has put on.^'* 
The psalmist is seeing the greatness of Yahweh in terms of his ac- 
tions rather than his essential being. His actions, however, reflect his 
essential being, particularly his sovereignty over the universe. The 
metaphorical usage of nU'aV effectively anticipates the subsequent 
descriptions of the divine theophany as covered and housed by the 
components of nature. 

A Description of Yahweh's Greatness and Majesty (vv 2-4) 

Following a clear statement of the greatness and royal majesty of 
Yahweh, the psalmist employs six participles to describe his God. 
These participles not only indicate further characteristics of Yahweh, 
but the change from the perfect (v lb) to participles (vv 2-4) deline- 
ates separate structural units within the prologue. 

Allen sees nuV as parallel with T\^^b and observes that there is a 
problem created by the participial form. He argues that the synony- 
mous content of Ic and 2a point to a bicolon, and so suggests the 
proposed emendation T]DVT\ based on haplography. He states that 
such a change "while not essential, would ease the problem. "^^ How- 

^'John N. Oswalt, '"TQ," 7^^071:132. 

"Josef Scharbert, "lin," TDOT 2:2S6, 293. 

"DSS 1IQPs° reads irmVK making it more of a communal statement; cf. J. A. 
Sanders, The Dead Sea Psalms Scroll (Ithaca: Cornell University, 1967) 160. 

''Dditzsch, Psalms III, 128. 

"Allen, Psalms, 26. The emendation comes from H. Gunkel, Die Psalmen (HKAT 
2.2.4; Ausgabe, Gottingen: Vandenhoeck und Ruprecht, 1926) 454; Kraus, Psalmen, 
879; and Crusemann, Studien, lil, n. 2. Cf. also BHS apparatus, 1 183. 

barker: the waters of the earth 69 

ever, Allen has failed to take into account the nature of the six 
participial statements as introduced by Ibc. If one recognizes the 
statement and preparatory metaphor (as discussed above), there is no 
difficuhy in taking the text as it stands. 

Yahweh's Regal Attire (v 2a). As light was the first creation after 
the initial creation of an unformed and unfilled chaos (Gen 1:1-2), so 
the psalmist portrays the creator, first and foremost, as royally clad in 
light. The term nov means to "wrap oneself, enwrap, envelop one- 
self."*^ In Ps 104:2a, then, Yahweh is portrayed as almost totally 
controlled by or identified as light (cf. Jer 43:12). Hence, this funda- 
mental element of the natural world is relegated to merely being a 
part of Yahweh's garb — one may see the first hint of a polemic against 
the common sun worship that surrounded the Hebrews. 

The term for garment here, HD'tu?, often rendered nVpU?," means a 
"wrapper" or "mantle," usually referring to the outer cloak. ^* Dahood 
notes noVtt'S literally reads "as the garment," but observes on the 
basis of Pss 55:23; 85:13; 89:48; and 90:16 that the article may serve as 
a substitute for the pronominal suffix. ^^ Hence, with Dahood (contra 
KJV and NASB) the line should read in the third person, "who is 
robed with the sun [?] as his garment. "^° This accords well with the 
third person configuration of the subsequent lines. 

Dahood further calls "ilx "an accusative of material-with-which";^' 
hence the rendering "who is robed with. ..." However, to translate 
llx as "sun" seems rather bold since there is nothing in the context to 
demand this translation and the evidence adduced by Dahood for this 
translation is less than convincing.^^ Habel observes that "light is the 
theophanic mode of self manifestation which both reveals his presence 
and veils his holiness. "^^ 

Yahweh's Regal Tent (v 2b). The psalmist next describes the 
abode of the royal creator in terms of a tent curtain. The term ny'T, 
while communicating the panoramic sense involved in the idea of 
heavens, reminds the worshiper of Yahweh's presence in the taber- 
nacle. Hence, the stretching out of the heavens as a tent not only 

"BDB, 741. 

"Cf. ibid., 971. 


^'Dahood, Psalms III, 34. 


*'lbid., 34. 

"ibid. The only text that could in any way support Dahood's suggestion is Job 
31:6 where there is a clear context of moon and sun. Such a context is not present in 
Psalm 104. 

"N. C. Habel, "He Who Stretches out the Heavens." CBQ 34 (1974) 422. 


speaks of Yahweh's creative act but also directs attention to his 
personal abode. Such a phrase serves to portray Yahweh "as the 
creator who pitches the heavens to be an overarching tent within 
which he appears in luminous splendor."*'' 

Based on his suggestion that nui? should be emended to T]\2:JF\, 
Allen assumes haplography again and emends nulJ to nol3n in accor- 
dance with BHK, BHS, and Kraus.*^ However, Allen's first sugges- 
tion was shown to be questionable; thus to have an anarthrous nui] 
accords well with the anarthrous riD'y. Dahood further observes, "In 
^oteh and noteh are present fine rhyme and assonance. Hence the 
recommendation of BHS to add the article to noteh {hannoteh) may 
be declined without qualms."** 

Yahweh 's Regal Chambers (v 3a). The description of the great 
Yahweh, clothed with honor and majesty, continues by means of 
hymnic participles. However, at this point the participles become 
arthrous (forming the basis of some of Allen's suggestions). Yet 
Delitzsch aptly notes the fact that determinate participles alternating 
with anarthrous participles (cf. Isa 44:24-28) indicate no more "than 
that the former are more predicative and the latter more attributive."*^ 

The imagery portrayed here is that of a celestial palace whose 
foundation beams are laid in the waters. Presumably, based on the 
context of "light" (2a), "heavens" (2b), "clouds" (3b), and "wind" (3c), 
the waters are heavenly waters (cf. Amos 9:6). Kidner observes, "The 
dizzy height of 'the waters above the firmament,' or the clouds, is 
pictured as but the base of God's abode, and this insubstantial support 
quite sufficient for the ethereal lightness of His palace."** 

The term iTljPPpn is apparently a denominative verb coming from 
nnij? meaning "rafter" or "beam."*^ Both ideas, however, seem to 
derive from the verb nij? meaning "encounter, meet, befall."™ Hence, 
the rafter or beam is that which meets or encounters some kind of 
structural support. 

Dahood attempts to link the Hebrew term with a Ugaritic term 
qryt and Akkadian term qantu, both meaning "granary."^' Hence, he 
suggests the translation, "Who stored with water his upper chambers." 
This, he argues, is congruent with the imagery of v 13. Additionally, 

'"Ibid., 423. 
"Kraus, Psalmen, 879. 
*'Dahood, Psalms III, 33. 
"Delitzsch, Psalms III 128. 

'^Kidner, Psalms 73-150, 369; cf. Delitzsch, Psalms III, 128-29 for similar 

*'BDB, 900. 
'"Ibid., 899. 
"Dahood, Psalms III, 34, 

barker: the waters of the earth 71 

he adduces Job 37:9 in which nnj? occurs (normally translated "cold" 
from nnj?; cf. KJV and NASB). He translated this text, "Out of the 
chamber comes the tempest, and flowing waters[?] out of the store- 

While Dahood's suggestion is plausible, the major argument 
against it is that to make this simply a statement of Yahweh storing 
water in the upper chambers would destroy the imagery describing 
Yahweh's regal chambers and thus the polemic involved. Additionally, 
as Habel notes, "these chambers are constructed 'in' the waters as 
might be expected from similar motifs pertaining to celestial store- 
houses or firmaments (Gen 1:6-8; Amos 9:6; Job 38:22)."^^ Hence, 
the more traditional rendering will be retained. 

The term vnl'V^^ is derived from the common verb nVv, and has 
the idea of a roof chamber or upper chamber (cf. Judg 3:23-25; 2 Kgs 
4:10; 23:12; etc.). Hence, the picture is that of Yahweh's heavenly 
palace placed in the sky. His abode is above the celestial waters. 

Yahweh's Regal Chariot (v 3b). Dahood argues that the force 
of Vi? in the phrase mn-"'D3?-'7y ^Vnan (v 3c) extends to D''3y"DU:'n 
131D1 (v 3b) resulting in the translation "who sets his chariot upon the 
clouds."^"* He is attempting to distinguish between Yahweh being 
transported by the clouds and Yahweh driving his chariot across the 
heavens. ^^ However, the suggestion is grammatically unprecedented, 
and additionally, Baal is called "the Rider of the Clouds. "^^ Yahweh 
is the true master of the heavens; it is he who rides the clouds. 

Yahweh 's Regal Walk (v 3c). Again, polemic imagery is being 
used here. Yahweh is master of the storm. The prepositional phrase 
mT"'D3?"'?y clearly speaks of Yahweh as creator and portrays his 
majestic and regal dominion of the atmospheric elements. The iden- 
tical phrase appears in Ps 18:10[1 1], in a context of Yahweh's majesty 
of the created world. Hence, celestial forces are subjects of the divine 
creator and sovereign. ^^ 

Yahweh's Regal Messengers (v 4). The final description of 
Yahweh has, in contrast to the previous five descriptions, a dual 
predicate to the initial participle Ti^'V. The predicative phrases are 


"Habel, "He who Stretches out," 423. 
'"Dahood, Psalms III, 34. 

"Cf. S. Mowinkel, "Drive and/or Ride in the Old Testament," VT 12 (1962) 

'UnET, 132. 

"Habel, "He who Stretches out," 422. 


very similar and clearly nu^i? is implied from the first line to the 

However, several problems are apparent. First, \37(b U^X is appar- 
ently improperly coordinated with vn'lU'O in terms of number. Dahood 
attempts to reconcile this by taking u;x and un"? as two separate 
nouns coordinated by asyndeton ('fire and flame' [cf. Joel 2:3]).'^ 
Similarly BHS suggests an emendation to unVl U^'X.^^ Dahood rejects 
the insertion of the 1 on the basis of meter.*° Probably the best 
suggestion comes from Allen and others who suggest that U'X may 
have been considered a collective noun.^' 

Second, ^H is usually regarded as a feminine noun, and thus DhV 
is improperly coordinated with respect to gender. llQPs^ eliminates 
the problem by reading num'?.*^ However, since improper coordina- 
tion of gender is not all that infrequent in the Hebrew text,*^ it would 
seem best to allow the MT to stand. 

Finally, the major problem is that of determining the direct object 
of the participle nU'V. Contextually it seems clear that nlmi and ITX 
vnb should be direct objects so that the psalmist would be continuing 
to see nature as Yahweh's instrument: "He makes the winds his 
messengers. Flaming fire his ministers" (NASB). However, the LXX 
grammatically reverses the sentence: 'O noi&v rove, dyy^^iouc; aOioO 
Kveunata Kai tovc, XeiToupyoi);; auioO nvpoc, (pXoya. Additionally, 
the author of Hebrews cites the LXX rendition in Heb 1:7. Kidner 
sees no contextual difficulty with this rendering which has the psalmist 
looking beyond the natural order of things to the heavenly host.*'' He 
further argues that the normal word order favors the LXX and notes 
that the argument of Heb l:7ff. is based on this rendering.*^ 

Yet as Allen notes, the LXX rendering is contextually improb- 
able.*^ The psalmist is describing how the sovereign God of the 
universe is master of all natural forces and how he uses them to 
enhance his glory or to perform his service. Hence it would seem best 
to render v 4 with NASB. The LXX, therefore, with its tendency to 
spiritualize and elevate the supernatural, took the verse in the alterna- 
tive sense, and the author of Hebrews, in making his point concerning 

'^Dahood, Psalms III, 35. 

"B//S, 1183. 

^"Dahood, Psalms HI, 35. 

*'Allen, Psalms, 26; cf. GKC, 463. Delitzsch observes that this word has no plural 
(Psalms III, 129). 

*^Cf. Y. Yadin, "Another Fragment (E) of the Psalms Scroll from Qumran Cave 
II (llQPsa')," Textus 5 (\966) 1-10. 

"Cf. GKC, 459-67. 

"Kidner, Psalms 73-150, 369. 

*'lbid., 369, n. 2. 

''Allen, Psalms, 26. 

barker: the waters of the earth 73 

Christ and the angels to his readers, used a text known to them. That 
Christ and the apostles used the LXX, even in places where it is at 
variance with the MT, is a well known fact. Apparently, they felt that 
they could make their point without compulsion to correct and clarify 
the difference between the Hebrew and Greek texts. McCullough 
observes that the author of Hebrews in particular may have deliber- 
ately used the version known to the local church to which he was 
writing in order to avoid confusion or opposition.*^ Thus, there is no 
evidence that would demand an adjustment of the more natural and 
contextual rendering of the MT in favor of the LXX or its citation in 
the NT. 


Ps 104:2-4 describes Yahweh's greatness and majesty. It is inter- 
esting to note that the terms used in this description (upper waters, 
clouds, wind, and flaming fire [lightning]) collectively portray a com- 
mon thunderstorm. This serves both to heighten its polemical value, 
and to prepare the worshiper for the description of the watery cata- 
clysm which follows in the subsequent stanza. 

Stanza 1: Yahweh uses the waters of the earth both to destroy 
and to sustain the creation (vv 5-13) 

As noted in the outline, this stanza may be divided into two 
smaller units, the first discussing the use of water to destroy the earth 
in the past, and the second indicating the use of water to sustain the 
earth in the present. The parameters of this study necessitate emphasis 
upon the first subunit. 

The scene changes from the heavens to the earth. In the prologue 
Yahweh is praised as the sovereign of the heavens which serve as his 
celestial tabernacle.** Even the storm with its wind, lightning, clouds, 
and waters is mastered by him. In this stanza Yahweh is portrayed as 
sovereign of the earth. The connection between the two is that the 

'John C. McCullough, "The Old Testament Quotations in Hebrews," NTS 26 
(1980) 379. To go into the occurrences and ramifications of the use of the LXX in the 
NT is beyond the scope of this study. A selected bibUography, particularly for Hebrews, 
is included by S. Kistemaker, The Psalm Citations in the Epistle to the Hebrews 
(Amsterdam: Van Soest, 1961); K. J. Thomas, "Old Testament Citations in Hebrews," 
NTS (1965) 303-25; G. Howard, "Hebrews and the Old Testament Quotations," NovT 
10:2-3 (1968) 208-16; and James W. Thompson, "Structure and Purpose of the Catena 
in Hebrews 1:5-13," CBQ 38 (1976) 352-63. 

**Cf. Habel, "He who Stretches out," 417-30 for thorough discussion of this 


rain and storms portrayed in the prologue provide the water by which 
Yahweh's activities are performed in the following stanza. 

The Waters of the Earth Once Covered the Earth, 
But Now are Established in Their Place (vv 5-9) 

Two movements are observable in this stanza. The first (v 5) is 
introductory, and establishes the setting for the new scene. The second 
(vv 6-9) is descriptive, and elaborates upon Yahweh's use of the 
waters to destroy the earth. 

The Earth is Founded (v 5). A significant change in verbal aspect 
is seen in the term 1D\ Since this is a Qal perfect, it interrupts the 
participal chain of vv 2-4. Most commentators want to repoint the 
term to ID'' as supported by LXX"^, LXX^, and the Targums^^ and 
thus continue the hymnic participles. However, there is a major shift 
of scene from the heavens to the earth. The psalmist has highlighted 
this shift by a break in the verbal pattern. Thus, there is justification 
to retain the pointing of the MT. 

The metaphorical expression rfJlDTD-^y pX'lD^ (cf. Ps 24:2; Job 
38:4-6) typically has been understood to reflect a primitive cosmol- 
ogy, namely, "the world, like a floating saucer, is anchored 'upon the 
seas."'^° This would seem to be particularly apparent in Ps 24:2a, 
"He has founded it [the earth] upon the seas." However, this kind of 
thinking fails to take into consideration two factors. First, as Craigie 
observes, Yam and Nahar represented a threat to order in Canaanite 
mythology, and Baal's victory over them resulted in his kingship. The 
psalmist here, however, shows that Yahweh is the creator of the 
ordered world. ^' This, in turn, is linked with Yahweh's kingship. It 
was Yahweh who was the creator. It was Yahweh who brought order 
out of chaos. 

Second, the cosmology known to the psalmist would be that of 
the Genesis account. To go to Ugaritic or other ancient Near Eastern 
materials to derive the basis for the Hebrews' conception of the 
creation and existence of the world, and to ignore Israel's own literary 
sources is unwise. Hebrew cosmology includes a seven day creation by 

"'Dahood, Psalms Ilh 35; Allen, Psalms. 26; Kraus, Psalmen, 879; and BHS, 1 183. 

'"Peter C. Craigie, Psalms 1-50. in the Word Biblical Commentary, ed. David A. 
Hubbard, et al. (Waco: Word, 1983) 212. Cf. A. R. Johnson, Sacral Kingship in 
Ancient /iraW (Cardiff: University of Wales, 1955) 52; L. L J. Stadelmann, The Hebrew 
Conception of the World: A Philological and Literary Study (AnBib 39; Rome: Pontifi- 
cal Biblical Institute, 1970) 126-30; and T. M. Ludwig, "The Traditions of Establishing 
the Earth in Deutero-lsaiah," JBL 92 (1973) 345-57. 

"Craigie, Psalms. 212; cf. also Craigie, "Comparison," 10-21; and Anderson, 
Psalms 2, 720. 

barker: the waters of the earth 75 

divine fiat, a flood destruction of that creation by an all powerful 
God, and a present providential maintenance of the post-flood world. 

This becomes an essential factor in understanding any apparent 
link to Canaanite literature. First, one must acknowledge that there 
may well have been a common pool of imagery used by various 
peoples. Second, even if literary links can be demonstrated, Canaanite 
literature was not the basis or source for Hebrew thought. Rather, if 
it is cited, it is cited for polemical purposes to exalt Yahweh and his 
great acts above any other deity that might vie for the Hebrews' 
allegiance. The ethical monotheism of the Hebrew people was vastly 
different from the surrounding religions, and the thought of religious 
or cosmological dependence is extremely difficult to maintain. 

Thus, while polemical aspects of this phrase may be granted, it is 
firmly rooted in the Hebrew traditions of a supernatural creation and 
the providential maintenance of the world. Since the foundations of 
the world were laid by divine fiat, the world was as permanent as the 
God that established it, namely, 1V\ dVIV DlQn"'?? (Ps 104:5; cf. 
Ps 33:9). 

The Earth Undergoes a Deluge of Water (vv 6-9). A major 
element in Hebrew cosmology was the Noahic flood described in 
Genesis 6-9. Since the psalm cannot be restricted to the scope of the 
creation account in Genesis 1 and 2, it is not surprising that a 
reference to such a catastrophic event would be found in this psalm. 
Hence, the psalmist proceeds to describe this event. 

The waters cover the earth (v 6). The masculine pronoun on 
Iri'DS probably refers to the feminine noun fix and may be explained 
either by the phenomenon of attraction (cf. 1 Sam 2:4), or by a 
reversion back to a basic masculine form as the discourse proceeds 
(cf. Exod 11:6; 2 Sam 17:13; Ezek 2:9).^^ Allen suggests, however, 
that the i may be an adaptation of an original n_ regarded as an 

archaic n Thus, Dlnn is the subject and the form should be rendered 

nnp3. This results in vv 6a and 6b being synonymously parallel. ^^ This 
latter view is speculative and problematic; in either case the sense is 

The term Dinn basically means a large body of water (cf. Pss 
77:16; 107:26; Isa 51:10; 63:13; Ezek 26:19; Jonah 2:5). The attempt to 
link Dinn with Tiamat of the Enuma Elish story is well known,^'* but 

"Delitzsch, Psalms II h 130. 

"Allen, Psalms, 26. 

'■"Cf. D. W. Thomas, ed.. Documents from Old Testament Times (New York: 
Nelson, 1958) 19; also H. G. May, "Some Cosmic Connotations of Mayim Rabbim 
'Many Waters,'" JBL 74 (1955) 9-21; and L. R. Fischer, "Creation at Ugarit and in the 
Old Testament," VT 15 (1965) 313-24. 


has been generally rejected. Linguistically, Dlnn cannot be derived 
from Tiamat. The root merely refers to deep waters and this meaning 
was kept in Hebrew but divinized in animistic Akkadian thought and 
perhaps also in Ugaritic thought.'^ The psalmist is merely stating that 
the earth was covered by a deluge of water, so much so that the 
waters stood "O'lri'Vy." This latter term reflects Gen 7:19-20, and any 
attempt to relate it to Genesis 1 in order to avoid the flood account 
must be considered rather arbitrary. 

There is an interesting interchange of perfect and imperfect verbs 
in this verse as well as throughout the rest of the stanza. The account 
is initiated with the perfect verb Iri'DS (completed action^*) and then 
followed by a series of imperfects (incomplete action'^) until v 9 
where the perfect verb is re-introduced to terminate the discourse. 
That there is a literary intent behind this seems clear. The psalmist 
sets the scene in motion with waters covering the earth. He then 
heightens the drama by verbs of incomplete action (imperfects) denot- 
ing the waters as "standing," "fleeing," "hastening away," etc. He then 
concludes the unit with another perfect verb, making the statement 
that a boundary has been set, thus indicating the completed and final 
nature of this act. Thus, while the worshiper is aware of the historical 
setting of the psalm, he is also allowed to enter into the drama of 
Yahweh's activity on earth. 

The waters flee from the surface of the earth (vv 7-8). An 
example of synonymous parallelism is observable in v 7 with both 
lines of the verse introduced by a causal |P,^^ and with ^niyj parallel 
to ^aVT "pip and ]^Xi^V parallel to pTDnv The term nyj simply indicates 
"a check applied . . . through strong admonitions or actions. "^^ To 
read the word in the sense of "war cry"'"° is too narrow a meaning 
for what the parallelism or context of the verse entails. The construct 
phrase ^pyi '7ip may well be taken as an adjectival phrase'"' and 
probably is best rendered "thunderous voice." 

A major exegetical problem occurs in v 8. The question concerns 
the subjects of ^b^S^^ and IIT. Is the subject of both verbs D^D (v 6) so 

'^R. Laird Harris, "Dan," TWOT IMS-db; also R. Laird Harris, "The Bible and 
Cosmology," JETS 5 (1963) 11-17; and W. White, "Tiamat," Zondervan Pictorial 
Encyclopedia of the Bible 5:744-45. 

'^Ronald J. Williams, Hebrew Syntax: An Outline (Id ed.; Toronto: University of 
Toronto, 1976) 29. 

"Ibid., 30. 

''Ibid., 55. 

'"Harold Stigers, "IVJ," TWOT 2:170. 

'°°A. Caquot, "1J;:il ga^ar," TDOT 3:49; cf. also A. A. Macintosh, "A Considera- 
tion of the Hebrew isa," VT 19 (1969) 471-79. 

""Cf. Thomas O. Lambdin, Introduction to Biblical Hebrew (New York: Charles 
Scribner's, 1971)69. 

barker: the waters of the earth 77 

that V 8 continues the discussion of the activities of the flood waters, 
or are the subjects D'ln and nlVj??, respectively so that v 8 creates an 
interlude or parenthesis describing the means by which the waters 
returned to their place? 

Sutcliffe has argued for the former possibility. He says that the 
psalmist is describing the ordering of the world in terms of his own 
experience. Thus, when he thinks of places destined by God for the 
waters, he is also reminded of the fact that springs are found in the 
mountains. Thus, even though water naturally flows downwards, it 
nonetheless gushes out high in the mountain regions. '°^ Sutcliffe trans- 
lates the verse, "They go up to the mountains, they go down to the 
valleys to the place thou hast established for them."'°^ His major 
objection to seeing "mountains" and "valleys" as subjects is that the 
context is describing the activity of waters. '°'* 

Clifford, although he also understands "waters" to be the subject, 
effectively answers Sutcliffe's particular objections. He notes that the 
context (vv 8b, 9) is speaking of what confines the cosmic waters, not 
the water supply of Palestine. '°^ Allen further observes that the 
scenario presented in those verses, in light of OT thinking, must be 
understood to refer to the ocean (cf. Gen 1:9)."^^ Thus, Allen, who 
takes D^D to be the subject of these verbs, concludes that the verse is a 
reference to the helterskelter movement of ocean waters as they leave 
the mountains (cf. v 7).'°^ 

Dahood views the mountains as celestial mountains and the 
valleys as the nether chasms. He observes that WIJ) in v 6 refers to 
mountains on earth, but suggests that it may legitimately be taken as 
something different in v 8.'°* However, Dahood's whole scenario is 
based upon a mythical concept of a three-tiered universe which is 
illegitimate in light of Hebrew cosmology (see above). Additionally, 
Clifford has demonstrated that Dahood's transfer of scenes from earth 
to heaven is contextually improbable. '°^ 

Grammatically, the verse can be taken either way. WlTl and nlyj?? 
can be taken as accusatives of place after verbs of motion, '^° or as 
subjects following their respective verbs."' Thus, the argument is 
reduced to one of context and interpretation. 

'"'Edmund F. Sutcliffe, "A Note on Psalm CIV 8," VT2 (1952) 14. 

""Richard J. Clifford, "A Note on Psalm 104:5-9," yflL 100 (1981) 88. 
'"* Allen, Psalms, 27. 

'"^Dahood, Psalms III, 36-37. 
""Clifford, "A Note," 88. 
""GKC, 373, per Allen, Psalms, 27. 

'"GKC, 455. Terrien is incorrect when he states that IIT is a masculine verb; 
therefore, niyj?3 (feminine plural) must be its indirect object (S. Terrien, "Creation, 


Fullarton takes the line as parenthetical."^ He maintains that 
V 8a offers an explanatory note as to how the waters fled to their 
established places (vv 7, 8b). He is supported textually by the LXX, 
Vulgate, Peshitta, and, more recently, RSV, NAB, and NASB. Thus, 
such a rendering is a clear viable alternative."^ 

As Allen and Clifford have demonstrated, Sutcliffe's suggestions 
create more problems than they solve. However, Allen's alternative 
of flood waters moving over mountaintops and down into valleys 
depends upon necessary grammatical elements not present in the text 
(cf. "over" and "into" in the NIV) and upon imagery that violates the 
natural order of things (waters moving up and down mountains). 
Hence, it seems best to read the line in its normal verb-subject syn- 
tactical pattern and to recognize it as an explanatory parenthetical 
line. The antecedent of DhV (v 8b) is then taken to be D'^. 

With this interpretation, the cataclysmic events of the Noahic 
deluge can be understood better. Massive tectonic activities charac- 
terized the latter part of the flood year with tremendous orogenic 
events. Mountain chains were thrust up and deep valleys and ocean 
basins were formed, the latter providing reservoirs for the massive 
amounts of water accumulated on the surface of the earth during the 
flood year. Whether this tremendous orogenic activity occurred in 
situ or as a result of the cataclysmic movement of continental plates"'* 
is not elucidated in this text. However, the tectonic interpretation is 
completely consistent with the descriptions found in Genesis 6-9 
(particularly Gen 7:11), and provides helpful information concerning 
this global catastrophe."^ 

The waters are established in their place (v 9). The psalmist 
now concludes the discussion of the Noahic deluge with a reference to 
the covenant with Noah described in Gen 8:20-22 and 9:1 1-17. That 
this psalmic statement cannot be a reference to Gen 1:9 (as Anderson 
maintains"^) is evidenced by the fact that, according to Hebrew cos- 

Cultus, and Faith in the Psalter," Theological Education 2 [1966] 1 16-28). The gender 
of a perfect 3 pi. verb is common. 

"^Fullarton, "Feeling for Form," 52, n. 8. 

"'Cf. also Ludwig, "Traditions of Establishing the Earth," 351. 

""Such a suggestion has been made by Stuart Nevins, "Continental Drift, Plate 
Tectonics, and the Bible," Acts and Facts, Impact Series no. 32, 5 (February 1976) 3; 
cf. also David G. Barker, "Biblical Evidences for Continental Drift," Bible Science 
Newsletter 15:10 (October 1977) 2-3. 

'"To go into the arguments, evidences and mechanisms for a global flood is 
beyond the scope of this study. The reader is referred to two basic texts: John C. 
Whitcomb, Jr. and Henry Morris, The Genesis F/oot/ (Philadelphia: Presbyterian and 
Reformed, 1962); and Joseph C. Dillow, The Waters Above: Earth's Pre-Flood Vapor 
Canopy (Chicago: Moody, 1981); as well as the voluminous literature on the subject 
particularly produced by the Institute for Creation Research. 

"^Anderson, Psalms 2, 720. 

barker: the waters of the earth 79 

mology, the waters did return to cover the earth. The promise that 
such would never occur again was not given in Genesis 1 but in 
Genesis 9. 

A significant parallel passage occurs in Isa 54:9 where a similar 
reference is made to waters not covering the earth again. It is notable 
that the first reference to this promise is in the clear context of the 
Noahic flood (Gen 8:21-22). Hence, even though the Noahic flood 
does not occupy a prominent place in the written record of the Hebrew 
Scriptures, it was a matter of general knowledge to the Hebrew people. 
The imagery of flood waters confined permanently within set boun- 
daries is taken from the Genesis 6-9 context."^ 

It is instructive to observe that the psalmist emphasizes the per- 
manence of the boundary grammatically in three ways. First, he 
returns to the perfect form of the verb. Second, VlDJi is placed in 
emphatic position (riDU^^Viaa)."^ Third, this verbal clause governs both 
parallel relative clauses introduced by V? and is an emphatic descrip- 
tion of permanence. To view this as description of Gen 1:9 creates 
serious theological and historical difficulties. 

Summary. The psalmist includes all of Hebrew cosmology in 
his psalm of praise to Yahweh, including the Noahic deluge. The first 
unit of the second stanza of the hymn is clearly marked by a change 
in verbal aspect and includes two parts: the setting of the unit (v 5) 
and a description of the destruction of the earth via a global flood 
(vv 6-9). 

The text of major concern for this study (vv 6-9) is demon- 
strated to be (1) a description of the flood of earth subsequent to 
initial creation (vv 6-7, 8b), (2) a parenthetical note describing the 
tectonic mechanism that moved the waters to their present place 
(v 8a), and (3) a reference to the promise of Genesis 8 and 9 which 
assured the boundary of the global seas. 

The Waters of the Earth Now Provide 
for All of Yahweh's Creation (vv 10-13) 

The psalmist now turns from the destructive role of the waters in 
Yahweh's providential care of the earth to their constructive role. 
Allen states that the psalmist now "proceeds to describe how water, 
the potential enemy of terrestrial life, has been harnessed to become 

'"Johns has argued that the Isaiah reference finds its strongest parallels with Job 
38:4-30 and Prov 8:22-31 (Warren H. Johns, "The Rebuke of the Waters," Ministry 
[May 1983] 26). It is acknowledged that the imagery of Job 38:10-11 and Prov 8:29 
point to Gen 1:9. However, a significant difference lies in that both speak of creative 
declarations governing the normative activity of the seas under Yahweh's providential 
hand, and not a decree preventing inundation of water in future earth history. 

"*GKC, 455; Williams, Syntax, 96. 


its means of sustenance, serving God by serving its creatures."'*' This 
unit may be divided into three movements: first, the act of Yahweh in 
providing water for sustenance (v 10); second, a specific statement of 
grateful recipients of such provision (vv 11-12); and third, a general 
statement of the creation's satisfaction with Yahweh's care (v 13). The 
first and last movements are grammatically distinguished by the third 
masculine singular form of the verbs with their antecedent as Yahweh, 
in contrast to the central movement which commences with a third 
plural form of the verb with its antecedent being the "springs" of v 10. 


In light of the purposes and parameters of this study, several 
conclusions may be drawn. First, this psalm is unique among ancient 
Near Eastern hymns in terms of its theology and cosmology. Any 
apparent links with other ancient Near Eastern literature are due to a 
common pool of imagery for describing a sovereign deity and the 
natural order of things and/ or to a polemic against foreign deities 
that would vie for the Hebrews' allegiance. 

Second, a structural analysis of the psalm demonstrates that the 
scope of the psalm reaches far beyond the creation week of Genesis 1 . 
It includes the totality of Yahweh's relationship to his world, both as 
creator and sustainer. 

Third, in light of the broader cosmological perspective of the 
psalm and the similar citation in Isa 54:9, vv 6-9 clearly point to the 
Noahic deluge of Genesis 6-9 rather than the creation account of 
Genesis 1. To relegate these verses to the creation account creates 
serious theological and historical problems, especially in light of the 
emphatic statements regarding the finality of the determination of the 
oceanic boundaries. Recognizing that Ps 104:6-9 refers to the Noahic 
flood provides an acceptable alternative to the more traditional 

Finally, in spite of the apparent contextual incongruity, v 8a is 
best taken as a parenthetical line descriptive of the mechanism of the 
retreat and settling of the waters behind their final boundaries. It was 
the mountains that went up and the valleys that went down. This 
provides valuable insight into the catastrophic tectonic activities of 
the flood year. 

'"Allen, Psalms, 33. 

Grace Theological Journal 7.1(1 986) 81-110 


Raju D. Kunjummen 

Evangelicals currently debate whether the Bible always has a "single 
intent" or if there is sometimes a "fuller meaning" (^sensus pleniorj 
due to divine inspiration. The literary theory of E. D. Hirsch indicates 
that meaning is to be associated with authorial intent. Examination 
of key passages of Scripture indicates that the authorial intent of the 
divine author sometimes contains implications that extend beyond 
those intended by the human author. 


THE issue of hermeneutical theory in relation to biblical interpreta- 
tion is prominent today. By all indications, hermeneutics will 
continue to be in the forefront of evangelical concerns. Therefore, 
there is an ongoing need to examine the validity of various theories in 
this discipline. 

Hermeneutics is not a discipline isolated from theology, though it 
may be true that biblical and exegetical theology has relied to some 
extent on a hermeneutical theory derived from the humanism of the 
Renaissance. It has been pointed out that the "problem of hermen- 
eutics is always subordinate to the problem of revelation, for one's 
view of the Bible will determine his interpretation."' It is imperative 
that interpretive theory be tested by Scripture. The present study 
proposes to examine the hermeneutical principle of a "single intent of 

Walter C. Kaiser, Jr., the foremost proponent of this principle in 
contemporary evangelicalism, has affirmed the following: 

Don H. McGaughey, "The Problem of Biblical Hermeneutics," Restoration 
Quarterly 5 (1961) 236-47. The quotation was taken from its abstract in Religious and 
Theological Abstracts 7 (1964) 325. 


God's meaning and revelatory-intention in any passage of Scripture 
may be accurately and confidently ascertained only by studying the 

No definition of interpretation could be more fundamental than 
this: To interpret we must in every case reproduce the sense the Scrip- 
tural writer intended for his own words. The first step in the interpre- 
tive process is to link only those ideas with the author's language that 
he connected with them.^ 

Only the doctrine and the theology prior to the time of the writer's 
composition of his revelation (which theology we propose to call here 
the "Analogy of Scripture") may be legitimately used in the task of 
theological exegesis, in other words, where the writer directly cites or 
obviously alludes to the theology that preceded his writing and formed 
a backdrop against which he cast his own message. Only the discipline 
of biblical theology, if it traces the buildup of doctrine from era to era 
within each of the Testaments, will supply the extremely important 
theological data necessary to rescue an otherwise dull philological and 
grammatical exercise. The "analogy of Scripture" then was the "pre- 
understanding" of both the writer and of those in his audience who 
were alert to what God had revealed prior to this new word or 

Kaiser also cites the question raised by Bruce Vawter concerning 
sensus plenior: 

If this . . . deeper meaning was reserved by God to Himself and did not 
enter into the writer's purview at all, do we not postulate a Biblical word 
effected outside the control of the human author's will and judgment 
. . . and therefore not produced through a truly human instrumentality?' 

Both Vawter and Kaiser would answer this question in the affirmative 
and then deny its validity. Elsewhere, Kaiser makes the following 

What is it that the whole or unity of Scripture teaches that cannot be 
found in the individual parts by grammar and syntax? And if we must 

Walter C. Kaiser, Jr., "The Single Intent of Scripture," in Evangelical Roots: A 
Tribute to Wilbur Smith, ed. Kenneth Kantzer (Nashville: Nelson, 1978) 138. 

'Walter C. Kaiser, Jr., "Legitimate Hermeneutics," in Inerrancy, ed. Norman L. 
Geisler (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1979) 118. 

"Kaiser, "Single Intent," 140. 

'Bruce Vawter, Biblical Inspiration (Philadelphia: Westminster, 1972) 1 15; Walter C. 
Kaiser, "The Current Crisis in Exegesis and the Apostolic Use of Deuteronomy 25:4 in 
1 Corinthians 9:8-10," JETS2\ (March 1978) 8. Vawter had stated his view elsewhere 
without the question. See Bruce Vawter, "The Fuller Sense: Some Considerations," 
CBg26(l964) 115. 

kunjummen: the single intent of scripture 83 

answer that a different sense is taught which went beyond the con- 
sciousness of the original instrumental agent who wrote that text, 
then we must argue that such is not an objective sensus plenior. In 
fact, we must deny that such a different sense is Scriptural (i.e., graphe, 
"written") at all." 

Thus, it can be seen that the concepts associated with "Single 
Intent" defy the apparent simplicity of the term. The issue at hand, 
therefore, is evident. What is the nature of divine revelation? Can 
divine and human authorship in the case of Scripture be distinguished? 
Should they be distinguished? Does such a distinction deny what 
authorial function Scripture does affirm to be present on the part of 
the human author of Scripture? Can we discern, at least in specific 
instances in Scripture, a distinction between divine and human 
authorial intentions? The following investigation is directed toward 
answering these questions. It does not delineate an exegetical method- 
ology which spells out the details of how to approach the interpreta- 
tion of a given text. The present concern is primarily a doctrinal 
one — the nature of special revelation. 

It is necessary to discuss what is meant by intention before one 
can meaningfully treat the subject of "authorial intent." Wimsatt and 
Beardsley, speaking on the subject of poetry, have defined intention 
as "design or plan in the author's mind."^ Elliott Johnson, after dis- 
cussing what intention does not mean, affirms that it is "to be identi- 
fied with the 'sense of the whole' by which the author arranges and 
relates each particular meaning of his composition."^ Geisler discusses 
the various meanings of "intention" and concludes that "the proper 
meaning of the intention of the author is the expressed meaning in 
the text."^ It seems necessary for the present writer in light of the use 
of the term to define "authorial intention" pertaining to a written 
document as the purpose of the author which governs the meaning of 
the text, to be discerned from the text and relevant context}'^ The 

^Walter C. Kaiser, Jr., "A Response to 'Author's Intention and Biblical Interpreta- 
tion,'" in Hermeneutics, Inerrancy and the Bible, ed. Earl D. Radmacher and Robert D. 
Preus (Grand Rapids: Academie Books, 1984) 444f. See also similar statements in 
Kaiser's critique of John Goldingay's Approaches to Old Testament Interpretation 
(Downers Grove: Intervarsity, 1981) in yfT^ 26 (1983) 485. 

'W. K. Wimsatt, Jr., and Monroe C. Beardsley, "The Intentional Fallacy," in The 
Verbal Icon by W. K. Wimsatt, Jr. (N.p.: The Noonday Press, 1960) 4. See also Elliott 
Johnson, "Author's Intention and Biblical Interpretation," in Hermeneutics, Inerrancy 
and the Bible, AU. 

*lbid., 412-17. 

'Norman L. Geisler, "The Relation of Purpose and Meaning in Interpreting Scrip- 
ture," (777 5 (1984) 231. See also his "A Response to Truth: Relationship of Theories 
of Truth to Hermeneutics,'" in Hermeneutics. Inerrancy and the Bible, 54. 

'"There is a limitation in determining the author's intention in an ancient text 
because where questions exist, direct clarification is not possible. One must also speak 


matter of authorial intention pertaining to Scripture will be considered 
by giving attention to the following: (1) the hermeneutic theory of 
E. D. Hirsch, Jr.; (2) the dynamics of revelation; and (3) indicators 
of biblical hermeneutics derived from the results of grammatico- 
historical exegesis. 


Some Salient Aspects of Hirsch 's Theory 

Meaning and Significance 

E. D. Hirsch has figured prominently in recent discussions on 
hermeneutics, as a survey of the literature will show." Hirsch's Valid- 
ity in Interpretation affirmed the rightful place of authorial inten- 
tion in the determination of meaning. His hermeneutic theory has 
hinged on the distinction between "meaning" and "significance."'^ 
"Meaning is that which is represented by a text; it is what the author 
meant by his use of a particular sign sequence; it is what the signs 
represent. Significance, on the other hand, names a relationship 
between that meaning and a person, or a conception or a situation, 
or indeed anything imaginable."'^ Furthermore, the former is the 

of the "relevant context" because this may vary for different texts. The writer has in 
mind such things as hterary and theological contexts. Sit: im Lehen, etc. Also, note the 
following statements of G. E. M. Anscombe {Intention, [2d ed.; Ithaca: Cornell Uni- 
versity, 1976] 7-9): "How do we tell someone's intentions? ... If you want to say at 
least some true things about a man's intentions, you have a strong chance of success if 
you mention what he actually did or is doing. For whatever else he may intend, or 
whatever may be his intentions in doing what he does, the greater number of the things 
which you would say straight off a man did or was doing, will be things he intends. . . . 
In most cases what you will say is that [sic] the man himself knows; and again in most, 
though indeed in fewer, cases you will be reporting not merely what he is doing, but an 
intention of his— namely, to do that thing. What is more, if it is not an intention of his, 
this will for the most part be clear without asking him." 

"l would mention here only the extensive interaction with Hirsch's theory in P. D. 
Juhl, Interpretation: An Essay in the Philosophy of Literary Criticism (Princeton: 
Princeton University, 1980) 16-44. Cf. Johnson, "Author's Intention," 41 If. 

'^E. D. Hirsch, Aims of Interpretation (Chicago: University of Chicago, 1976) Iff. 

"E. D. Hirsch, Validity of Interpretation (New Haven: Yale, 1967) 8. Hirsch 
writes, "Significance would be any meaning which has a relation to the verbal meaning 
so defined — no matter how neutral, descriptive, or tame the related meaning might 
be. . . . Significance is always 'meaning-to' never 'meaning-in.' Significance always 
entails a relationship between what is in a man's verbal meaning and what is outside it" 
(pp. 62-63). This statement of Hirsch should not be construed to mean that signifi- 
cance can be "anything imaginable." Significance names the relationship between 
meaning and anything extraneous to the author's meaning that can be imagined. 

kunjummen: the single intent of scripture 85 

object of interpretation. The latter falls within the domain of (literary) 

Meaning and Implication 

Hirsch also sought to distinguish the implications of a text from 
its meaning and its significance. Implications are part of the meaning 
of the text.'" "The crucial problem in the theory and practice of 
interpretation is to distinguish between possible implications that do 
belong to the meaning of a text and those that do not belong."'^ Even 
though implications and meaning may be viewed in terms of sub- 
meanings and the whole respectively, Hirsch points out that "A merely 
spatial conception of the part-whole relationship is inadequate. The 
peculiarity of a whole meaning is that it retains its integrity and 
completeness even if all its implications have not been articulated."'^ 
The above distinctions are useful for biblical hermeneutics. 

Hirsch emphasizes that prior knowledge is essential in the eluci- 
dation of implications. Thus, to use Hirsch's illustration of a right 
triangle,'^ an author can imply (whether consciously or unconsciously) 
the relationship between the lengths of the sides of the triangle as 
stated in the Pythagorean theorem only if he first knew the theorem. 
A reader/ interpreter can discern the implication of such a relationship 
only if he also knows the theorem. 

Meaning and Intrinsic Genre 

Another Hirschian'^ concept from which evangelical interpreters 
can benefit is the idea of intrinsic genre. He defines this as "that sense 

'"As Hirsch (Validity, 61-62) states, "To say that a particular meaning is implied 
by an utterance is not to insist that it is always 'unsaid' or 'secondary,' but only that it 
is a component within a larger whole. The distinction is between a submeaning of an 
utterance and the whole array of submeanings that it carries. This array, along with the 
principles for generating it, 1 call the 'meaning' of the utterance, and any submeaning 
belonging to the array 1 call an implication." Hirsch (ibid., 63-64) also distinguishes 
significance from implication in that significance is "meaning-to" (someone or some- 
thing) and therefore limitless. Implications are not limitless; "irtiplications lie within the 
meaning as a whole and are circumscribed by some kind of boundary, which delimits 
that meaning." 

"Ibid., 62. 

'*'Ibid., 64. Furthermore, when meaning is viewed as a willed type which is shared, 
"an implication belongs to a meaning as a trait belongs to a type" (p. 66). 

"Ibid., 65. 

'*By "Hirschian" here and elsewhere in this paper I only mean to acknowledge 
direct dependence upon his work for the definitions of the particular terms and elucida- 
tion of the underlying concepts. Evidently, meanings, implications, significances and 
genres have existed as long as communication itself. 


of the whole by means of which an interpreter can correctly under- 
stand any part in its determinacy."'^ When one reads a text he first 
approaches it with a certain expectation of its content (meaning). As 
the reading (or hearing) progresses, "this conception of the meaning 
of the whole" may be revised, corrected, re-adjusted, or changed. This 
"overarching notion" of the sense of the whole text or communication 
which controls the conception of the whole by "embracing a system 
of expectations" is the genre. ^° 

An interpreter's preliminary generic conception of a text is constitutive 
of everything that he subsequently understands, and this remains the 
case unless and until that generic conception is ahered.^' 

All understanding of meaning is necessarily genre-bound.'^^ 

This description of the genre-bound character of understanding is, of 
course, a version of the hermeneutic circle, which in its classical for- 
mulation has been described as the interdependence of part and whole: 
the whole can be understood only through its parts, but the parts can 
be understood only through the whole. ^^ 

Intrinsic genre as defined by Hirsch is both heuristic and con- 
stitutive. ^"^ The interpreter discerns intrinsic genre intuitively and on 
the basis of increased understanding. However, it is a genuine charac- 
teristic of the text. The intrinsic genre of a text is subsumed under 
what is generally considered "context," i.e., "the givens that accom- 
pany constructions that are part of a text's meaning."^^ 

"ibid., 86. Thus, Hirsch's "intrinsic genre" siiould not be strictly identified with 
the notion of "hterary genre." 

'"ibid., 78. 

^'ibid., 74. This statement is elaborated fully in the following remarks: "If the 
generic idea of the meaning as a whole could not be defeated and baffled by the 
experience of subsequent details, then we would never recognize that we had misunder- 
stood. On the other hand, it is essential to notice that in most cases our expectations 
are not baffled and defeated. We found the types of meanings we expected to find, 
because what we found was in fact powerfully influenced by what we expected. All 
along the way we construe this meaning instead of that because this meaning belongs 
to the type of meaning we are interpreting while that does not. If we happen to 
encounter something which can only be construed as that, then we have to start all 
over and postulate another type of meaning altogether in which that will be at home. 
However, in the very act of revising our generic conception we will have started all over 
again, and ultimately everything we understand will have been constituted and partly 
determined by the new generic conception" (pp. 7 Iff.) 


'Mbid. Hirsch does not prefer the traditional formulation of the hermeneutic circle. 
He would define it in terms of "genre" and "trait" (p. 77). 

''ibid., 78. 

'Mbid., 87. Note the discussion on "context" on p. 86ff. 

kunjummen: the single intent of scripture 87 

The Application of Hirschian Concepts for Biblical Hermeneutics 
Meaning and Significance^^ 

In discussing the usefulness of Hirsch's theory for biblical exege- 
sis, it must be noted that he was not writing to provide an interpretive 
theory for divine revelation. The importance of this should not be 
underestimated. Hirsch's primary purpose was to counteract existen- 
tial approaches to literary interpretation. The present writer agrees 
with Hirsch's definition of meaning as that which the author intended. 
But ordinary literature does not have associated with it the miraculous 
phenomenon of simultaneous authorship by an omniscient God. 

Some evangelicals have employed the distinction between signifi- 
cance and meaning in order to argue that the divine author's meaning 
cannot be distinguished from that of the human author. An important 
discussion has centered around John 11:49-52.^^ Many who believe 
that the divine and human authorial intentions behind the text of 
Scripture can be distinguished invoke this example in support of their 
perspective. This distinction of authorial intentions is disallowed by 
Kaiser who seeks to resolve the apparent problem by an appeal to the 
meaning-significance distinction. John 11:49-52 reads as follows 

But a certain one of them, Caiaphas, who was high priest that year, 
said to them, "You know nothing at all, nor do you take into account 
that it is expedient for you that one man should die for the people and 
the whole nation not perish." 

Now this he did not say of his own initiative; but being high priest 
that year, he prophesied that Jesus was going to die for the nation; and 
not for the nation only, but that He might gather together into one the 
children of God who are scattered abroad. 

'''Kaiser, who has often utilized the Hirschian distinction between meaning and 
significance, rightly recognizes that the latter's view of "meaning" as elucidated in Aims 
of Interpretation is in part unacceptable to those who insist that valid meaning is the 
meaning of the author. Cf. Kaiser, "The Current Crisis in Exegesis," 3-4; and "Legiti- 
mate Hermeneutics," 457, n. 10. Hirsch {Aims, 20) argues that intuitionism is legitimate 
interpretation. He (incorrectly) justifies the basis of such a practice by saying, "the 
letter killeth, but the spirit giveth life" (ibid.). The following statements should reveal 
Hirsch's view: "In some respects, intuitionism almost certainly is correct. . . . The intui- 
tionist ... is right to see that the same linguistic form can sponsor different meanings" 
(p. 21); "Self-evidently, a text can mean anything it has been understood to mean" 
(p. 77); and "The normative dimension of interpretation is always in the last analysis an 
ethical dimension" (ibid.). 

^'The discussion of this passage in this connection is more than just recent. See 
Thomas Aquinas, Summa Theologiae, qn. 173, art. 4. 


Kaiser deals with the problem in the following manner: "The 
truth-intention of Caiaphas (v. 50)" constitutes the meaning. The 
apostle John found a ^^ significance^'' in the words of Caiaphas and this 
is stated in v 51. Furthermore, John ""corrected Caiaphas's provincial 
statement with its ethnocentricities and turned it into a comprehensive 
statement of the universal implication of Jesus' death (v. 52)." Kaiser's 
explanation of the dynamics oversimplifies the whole matter. Accord- 
ing to him, the point of v 51 is not the ""method in which Caiaphas 
spoke (unconscious or involuntary prediction), but that since he was 
in the office of high priest when he gave this somewhat bitter proverb, 
it had the significance of an official prediction." Furthermore, "John 
is not giving us the contents of Caiaphas's prophecy, but only ... the 
significance of his otherwise witty speech." Kaiser concludes then, 
concerning the utterance of Caiaphas, that "when an official like 
himself . . . gave a verdict that could take on a proverbial status and 
significance which accorded with the plan of God, only the God of 
providence could be praised, for now the wrath of men had been 
turned into the glory of God."^^ 

Two conclusions can be deduced from Kaiser's statements. First, 
Caiaphas was not speaking or functioning as a prophet. He made a 
"witty" statement which because of providence took on a different 
sense. Second, John is not giving the meaning of the words of 
Caiaphas, but only the significance. It will be argued shortly that 
different meanings, not merely the difference between meaning and 
significance, are involved. These conclusions seem to be inconsistent 
and are not based on the verbal meaning of John's statements. 

In the first place, it can be argued that Kaiser does not apply the 
meaning-significance distinction properly. When Caiaphas said "it is 
better for you that one man should die for the people than that the 
whole nation perish" (NIV), he had in mind averting Roman military 
action so that the rulers along with the people could continue to 
retain their position and national privilege. The idea of "perishing" 
intended by Caiaphas was the destruction of temporal things. "One 
man dying for the people" meant one man, namely Jesus, being put 
to death by the Romans so that the Jewish nation with its people 
would not incur the wrath of the imperial power. Any significances 
one finds in Caiaphas's statement must come from this meaning. If a 
significance does not properly derive from the actual meaning of a 
statement, it is not a valid significance.^^ 

The need for validity in significance (a matter not dealt with at 
any length by Hirsch) is just as crucial as the need for validity in 

^^Kaiser, "The Single Intent," 128-31. 

"See Kaiser, Toward an Exegetical Theolog\\ p. 32 where he says, "note well, it 
[i.e., significance] must be linked [to meaning]." 

kunjummen: the single intent of scripture 89 

interpretation. This matter is at the heart of all attempts to make 
application of Scripture dependent on and deriving from its meaning 
(the product of exegesis). The point can be illustrated. Many, perhaps 
even Hirsch/° misconstrue the meaning of 2 Cor 3:6 ("The letter kills, 
but the Spirit gives life") to mean that the words of Scripture have to 
be interpreted "spiritually" (i.e., non-literally) in order to have impact 
upon lives. Based upon this misinterpretation of the meaning of 
2 Cor 3:6, they make this application: "Scripture must be spiritualized 
to communicate God's message to others." But this cannot be admitted 
as a proper interpretation of 2 Cor 3:6. A significance cannot be valid 
when it is not based on valid meaning. 

The point of the matter is that if the apostle John is suggesting a 
"significance" of the statement of Caiaphas, he has suggested an 
invalid significance because it is not supported by the meaning of 
V 50. He retained the words, but changed their meaning. To treat the 
problem this way is to imply that inspiration canonizes false signifi- 
cances while the meaning of the human author is unchangeable. 

A second, and more serious, aspect of Kaiser's explanation of this 
problem is his interpretation of v 51.^' He takes dcp' feauioC as mean- 
ing "of his own authority." It is not clear that John's statement in 
v 5 1 can be construed to mean that Caiaphas's "bitter proverb" had 
"the significance of an official prediction" because of the office of 
Caiaphas. The preposition dno followed by a reflexive pronoun occurs 
thirteen times in John's gospel and once elsewhere in the NT (2 Cor 
3:5). The phrases are found in the gospel modifying 'kakzlvl'kiyzw 
{1\\1, 18; 11:51; 14:10; 16:13; 18:34), Ttoieiv (5:19, 30; 8:28), epxeaOai 
(8:42), TiOevai (10:18) and Kapnov (pepeiv (15:4), and in 2 Cor 3:5, 
iKavog elvai. It is not possible to convey the idea behind all these 
usages with one English phrase. In general the phrase designates 
source, whether of message (John 7:17; 14:10; 16:13), action (5:19; 
8:28 — note also the lack of distinction between "speaking" and "doing" 
in 14:10), commission (8:42), power for fruit-bearing (15:4), or suf- 
ficiency for the Christian ministry (2 Cor 3:5). In John 10:18, the 
phrase seems to refer to Christ's will. He lays down His life of His 
own initiative. The case is similar in 18:34 — was Pilate repeating the 
words of someone else or was the question his own? It appears that 
the way in which NASB renders the phrase in John 11:51 is quite 
appropriate: "Now this he did not say on his own initiative." 

The words of Caiaphas did not ultimately come from himself. 
John's authoritative explanation of the dynamics behind Caiaphas's 
utterance is found in v51. He was not speaking /row himself — he 

'"Hirsch, Aims, 20. 

'' Kaiser, "The Single Intent," 130-31 


was prophesying.^^ John is using irony here but he is not sarcastic 
about the fact of Caiaphas prophesying. To explain that Caiaphas's 
prophecy (e7rpo(pfiT8uaav) merely assumed "the significance of an 
official prediction" is not proper," especially in light of the explana- 
tion, "he did not say this of himself/ of his own initative." 

There is another aspect of this problem that needs to be dealt 
with. It pertains to John's "correcting" the "ethnocentricities" of 
Caiaphas's statement and giving it universal scope. It would appear 
that if Caiaphas was really prophesying (speaking forth a word from 
God), the apostle is giving the true meaning (i.e., theological meaning 
intended by God) of the statement in his explanation. "One man 
dying" refers to substitution, and "the people" indicates all the people 
of God, including "those who were scattered abroad." It is just as 
cogent to argue that John is giving the "meaning" as it is to say that 
he is "correcting" or "adding," for there is little contextual evidence to 
support the latter contention. 

The crux of the problem in this passage may now be analyzed. 
God spoke through the high priest a prophetic word concerning 
Christ. The high priest was a wicked man and intended evil by his 
words. But God had a different intention through that prophecy so 
that John was able to discern the message of a substitutionary atone- 
ment. It is not simply a matter of distinguishing meaning from 
significance that is involved here. It is, rather, a matter of multiple 
(two) meanings. We may say that the statement was a pun. But 
Caiaphas did not intend it as a pun — only God did. The revelatory 
dynamic involved in this passage is admittedly rather unique. But the 
previous discussion shows that the Hirschian distinction between 
meaning and significance is not properly used by Kaiser. Distinct 
meanings should be treated as distinct meanings. Furthermore, atten- 
tion must be given to the matter of validity of significance. 

If this argument against Kaiser's analysis is correct, does it have 
relevance for the nature of prophetic revelation and the single intent? 
I believe it does. In the first place, it calls into question the a priori 
assumption of constant confluence between human and divine mean- 
ing intentions. Second, it opens the possibility that God may through 
a later author explain more of what he had in mind in an earlier 
statement in a manner similar to how he clarified through John his 
intention through Caiaphas's prophecy. This is not an outlandish 
thought despite the limited analogy between Caiaphas and the OT 

"For other Johannine usages besides John 1 1:51, see Rev 10:1 1, 1 1:3. 
"BAGD (723) gives the following meanings for Trpocptixeuco: a. proclaim a divine 
revelation; b. prophetically reveal what is hidden; c. foretell the future, prophesy. 

kunjummen: the single intent of scripture 91 

Meaning and Implication 

In the case of the Scriptures, the problem of implications is a 
crucial one. There is need to identify the place of divine knowledge 
and that of man as they apply to the unravelling of implications 
contained in the text. 

A valuable discussion of implication in biblical interpretation as 
it applies to authorial intention is that of Johnson.^'' Using Gottlob 
Frege's terms, he speaks of "sense" and "reference." "Reference con- 
cerns implications of meaning which are apparent when the sense is 
related to the historical instance."^'* The fulfillment of Zech 12:10 
stated in John 19:37 illustrates this. 

In Zechariah 12:10, even if the sense pierced through is established, 
the reference is still not clear. . . . Only when the sense is compared to 
Roman crucifixion is the reference clear. Yet the death by crucifixion is 
an implication of the prophet's meaning (John 19:^7).^* 

Johnson illustrates the phenomenon further by using Psalm 16 as 
an example. Its messianic import is clearly indicated in the NT (Acts 
2:22-32; 13:34-47). Johnson proposes that "God and David shared a 
defining sense in the expression of the Psalm."" Whereas God "was 
conscious of all the implications of reference to David and Christ," 
"David may have been limited in his conscious reference. "^^ Kaiser 
responds negatively to such a view. According to him, to say that 
"the human author did not share fully in the divine author's mean- 
ings"^^ is a "bifurcation between the human and the divine author 
in the act of revelation" and "introduces a revelation which is above 
or below revelation and, hence, an act of confusion. "''^ In an earlier 

^''Johnson, "Author's Intention," 4 16ff. 

"ibid., 10. Frege's concept of sense (Sinn) and reference [Bedeutung) has been 
illustrated with the example of "the evening star" and "the morning star." They have 
two distinct "senses" but refer to the same thing — the planet Venus. This "example . . . 
has been endlessly repeated" (Michael Dummett, Frege: Philosophy of Language [New 
York: Harper and Row, 1973] 97). For discussions of "sense" and "reference," see ibid., 
89-97, 160; E. D. Hirsch, Jr., Validity, 21 Iff.; John S. Feinberg, "Truth: Relationship 
of Theories of Truth to Hermeneutics," in Hermeneutics, Iherrancy and the Bible, 

'^Johnson, "Author's Intention," 417. 

"ibid. The defining sense of the text is the "type of meaning" (p. 420). For the 
psalm used as example, the type of meaning which Johnson sees is: "Rejoicing in God, 
His portion brings His Holy One hope for resurrection" (ibid.). 

"ibid., 417. 

"So argued by Johnson, ibid., 423-28. 

""Kaiser, in the Abstract that prefaces "A Response to Author's Intention," paper 
read at Summit II of the ICBI. Abstracts of papers do not appear in the printed edition 
Hermeneutics, Inerrancy and the Bible. 


publication Kaiser had adopted a different view concerning the use of 
Psalm 16 in the NT and its messianic implications.'*' 

Johnson points out that implications, since they are part of 
meaning, are legitimate objects of interpretation/^ He also has pointed 
out that the human instrument in the process of revelation of Scrip- 
ture was not necessarily cognizant of all the implications of the divine 
word/^ Nevertheless, God knew them all. 

The relationship of implication to meaning and interpretation 
can be shown from another example which does not employ messianic 
associations to demonstrate the point. In response to the Sadducean 
trick question concerning the resurrection (Matt 22:22-33 and parallel 
passages), Christ cited Exod 3:6 and argued that Drnax Tl'rx . . . 'Dax 
2py"» "TlVxT pnx' "TiVk implied the resurrection. Obviously, there is no 
plain statement of the resurrection of saints in this declaration. How- 
ever, it is possible to derive the implication of resurrection from this 
Scripture in the following manner.'"' 

1. "I am the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac and the God of 
Jacob" implies covenant relationship stemming from God's promise 
to the patriarchs (Gen 15:1; 17:7, 8; 28:13). The promise to Abra- 
ham (Gen 12:1-3; 13:14-17; 15:7-21; 17:1-16) was confirmed to 
Isaac (Gen 17:21; 26:3-5) and to Jacob after him (Gen 28:13-15; 

2. The promise granted that Abraham, Isaac and Jacob as well as 
their "seed" would inherit the land of Canaan. 

3. The patriarchs did not really obtain the promise made to them. 
The land promised to them never really became theirs (Heb 11:13). 
Jacob died in Egypt. 

4. The fact that God is called their God implies his faithfulness to 
them to make good what he promised. 

"'Walter C. Kaiser, Jr., "The Promise to David in Psalm 16 and Its Application in 
Acts 2:25-33 and 13:32-37," ^£75 23 (1980) 219-29. 

"^Johnson ("Author's Intention," 421) says, "The interpreter exegetes the implica- 
tions of the author's chosen type of meaning." Cf. Hirsch, Validity, 57. 

"'To Johnson's example of Zech 12:10 and John 19:37, can be added (1) Isa 53:12 
with Luke 22:37, (2) Zech 13:7 with Matt 26:31, (3) Hosll:l with Matt2:15, (4) 
Jer 31:15 with Matt 2:18, (5) Ps41:9 with John 13:18, (6) Exod 12:46; Num 9:12; and 
Ps 34:20 with John 19:36, (7) Ps 69:25 with Acts 1:20a, (8) Ps 109:8 with Acts 1 :20b, etc. 

""Such a derivation of implication is not identical to the "Consequent Sense" of 
Roman Catholic hermeneutics which brings in a premise derived from "reason" into 
the syllogism; cf. Walter Kaiser, "Response," 443ff.; C. F. DeVine, "The Consequent 
Sense," Cfig 2 (1940) 151-52. 

kunjummen: the single intent of scripture 93 

5. The patriarchs cannot enter into their promise if they are dead, 
and therefore Abraham, Isaac and Jacob must rise from the dead 
(cp. John 8:56). 

It cannot be said that Exodus 3:6 means that the dead will rise 
again. But that is part of the implication of the meaning. Even if this 
implication had not been identified, the sense of the statement would 
have been complete. When in Exodus God spoke to Moses and when 
Moses wrote down the event, it is likely that the idea of resurrection 
from the dead would not have been associated by him with the text. 
Yet, Christ chastised the Sadducees for not understanding the Scrip- 
tures. Man is responsible to deduce, in dependence upon God the 
author (Ps 119:18) and in the light of biblical theology, the implica- 
tions of biblical statements. 

Intrinsic Genre, the Analogy of Scripture and Authorial Intention 

The concept of intrinsic genre has not figured prominently in the 
discussion under review. However, this writer finds it a very useful 
concept with application to biblical hermeneutics. Johnson has very 
appropriately given attention to "the conception of the whole" in 
connection with authorial intention."*^ 

The application of genre logic to the Bible as a whole is made 
possible by the fact that the Scriptures as a whole are a unity. Even 
though the different human instruments in the process of inscriptura- 
tion have left the imprint of their individual personalities, styles, 
vocabularies, and circumstances on the written word, "the doctrine of 
inspiration . . . tells us that the Scriptures are the products of a single 
divine mind.""** Ultimately, the Bible is one book with one author for 

"Johnson, "Author's Intention," 419. 

"^J. I. Packer, "Infallible Scripture and the Role of Hermeneutics," in Scripture 
and Truth, ed. D. A. Carson and John D. Woodbridge (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 
1983) 350. 

"Cf. 2 Tim 3:16; Heb 1:1; 2 Pet 1:21; Acts 3:21. See also Ps 119:89. Wayne A. 
Grudem ("Scripture's Self-Attestation," in Scripture and Trlith, 33) writes on this: 
"God's word stands firm forever in the heavens, the place of God's abode. This implies 
that according to the psalmist God's written words are actually a copy of words that 
God in heaven has permanently decided on and has subsequently caused to be com- 
mitted to writing by men." Briggs (Psalms, ICC, 2:429) writes of this verse, "The divine 
Law was everlasting, pre-existent in heaven before it came down to earth as the latter 
rabbins understood it . . . immutable for all future time in generation after generation 
of mankind." W. E. Vine (Divine Inspiration of the Bible [Brandon, Manitoba: Ritchie's 
Christian Book Service, 1969] 55-56) makes a similar observation based on Jas 2:23: 
"In showing that works are the essential counterpart of faith in the matter of justifica- 
tion, he [i.e., James] illustrates his point by relating how Abraham offered up Isaac 


If it is granted that the Bible is one book with one author having 
an underlying unity of purpose and intention, then one may justifi- 
ably speak of the intrinsic genre of Scripture as a whole. The inter- 
preter arrives at a perception of this genre heuristically. In other 
words, the interpreter of Scripture must go through the unidirectional 
hermeneutical spiral of preunderstanding-'hermeneutics-^exegesis— 
theology. Through a process similar to successive approximation in 
mathematics, the interpreter arrives at a closer approximation of 
truth, and a better hermeneutic.''* 

Thus, the reader of Scripture who might have an uncertain 
concept of the serpent in Genesis 3, after reading through the entirety 
of Scripture including the book of Revelation, will have a revised 
(and more exact) conception of the whole so that his sense of the 
identity of the serpent is more complete and exact. The providential 
workings of God in the lives of biblical characters (e.g., Abraham's 
servant, Ruth, and Esther) assume greater overall importance when 
re-evaluated in the light of further revelation and a greater awareness 
of the purpose of God through history. Inasmuch as Isaac's bride, 
David and his ancestors, and the nation in exile all directly relate to 
the promised seed, later "chapters" in God's book unfold more fully 
the implications of the content of the earlier ones. Such implications 
may not have been perceived by the human authors because of their 
chronological limitations.'*^ 

The unity of Scripture which derives from its divine authorship is 
actual and real and should play a part in exegesis just as the unity of 
individual books does. While revelation was progressive since God's 
self-disclosure was piecemeal and spread out over time (Heb 1:1), the 
supernatural character of Scripture validates the application of the 
analogy of (not necessarily antecedent) Scripture. ^° 

upon the altar. In this act he says that the Scripture was fulfilled which saith, 'And 
Abraham believed God, and it was reckoned unto him for righteousness.' When Abra- 
ham offered Isaac, the Scripture in Gen 15, recording the fact of his faith . . . had not 
been written. . . . The Scripture apparently was regarded by James as an ever-present 
thing in the mind of God, foreknown and fore-ordained in the Divine design, and 
therefore certain of being recorded in course of time." These explanations of the "latter 
rabbins" as well as Vine may be rather tenuous. 

"^See J. I. Packer, "Biblical Authority, Hermeneutics and Inerrancy," in Jerusalem 
and Athens, ed. E. R. Geehan (N.p.: Presbyterian and Reformed, 1971) 146-47; and 
J. I. Packer, "Hermeneutics and Biblical Authority," Themelios 1 (1975) 3-12. 

"'On the relation between intrinsic genre and implication Hirsch (Validity, 89-91) 
writes: "The correct determination of implication is a crucial element in the task of 
discriminating a valid from an invalid interpretation. . . . The implications of an 
utterance are determined by its intrinsic genre. . . . The logic of implication is always 
... a genre logic, as common sense tells every interpreter. Whether an implication is 
present depends upon the kind of meaning that is being interpreted." 

'"j. I. Packer ("Biblical Authority, Hermeneutics and Inerrancy," 148) says, 
"Scripture should be interpreted by Scripture, just as one part of a human teacher's 

kunjummen: the single intent of scripture 95 

A generic conception of the meaning of Scripture as a whole will 
affect one's understanding of authorial intention. God alone is the 
single author of the whole. Even though they were aware of prior 
revelation, the human authors had an active role only in writing the 
parts. Bruce Vawter says it well when he states: "The message that 
God intended to be conveyed by human words at a given point in 
time, may indeed take on added dimension as it is seen within a larger 
context than that afforded by the initial utterance.""'*' 

Thus, divine implications of meaning will exceed that of the 
human author on matters which are unfolded in greater detail in the 
progress of revelation. As Kaiser has stated so aptly, "No meaning of 
a text is complete until the interpreter has heard the total single 
intention of the author."" Kaiser had in mind the human author 
"who stood in the presence of God," but the statement has no less 
validity when one has in mind God himself, the author of the whole. 

message may and should be interpreted by appeal to the rest. Scriptura scripturae 
inlerpresl This does not, of course, imply that the meaning of all texts can be ascer- 
tained simply by comparing them with other texts, without regard for their own 
literary, cultural, and historical background, or for our extra-biblical knowledge bear- 
ing on the matter with which they deal." D. A. Carson ("Unity and Diversity in the 
New Testament," in Scripture and Truth, 91), citing Packer ("Preaching as Biblical 
Interpretation," in Inerrancy and Common Sense, ed. Roger R. Nicole and J. Ramsey 
Michaels [Grand Rapids: Baker, 1980] 198) says, "'There is ... a sense in which every 
New Testament writer communicates to Christians today more than he knew he was 
communicating, simply because Christians can now read his work as part of the com- 
pleted New Testament canon.' This is not an appeal to sensus plenior, at least not in 
any traditional sense. Rather, it is an acknowledgement that with greater numbers of 
pieces of the jigsaw puzzle provided, the individual pieces and clusters of pieces are 
seen in new relationships not visible before." Kaiser {Toward an Exegetical Theology, 
90, 134ff.) advocates the analogy of antecedent Scripture which limits the parts of the 
canon available for the "analogy" to those which historically preceded the text under 
study. While such a cautious approach has obvious usefulness for preventing eisegesis, 
its validity as a strict rule for biblical interpretation has to be denied. The reasons for 
that are enunciated elsewhere in this paper. The questionableness of this principle can 
be demonstrated from the author's own practice. In his Toward an Old Testament 
Theology (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1978) 36, Kaiser discusses the language and 
grammar of Gen 3:15 with reference to the "seed" and the use of the pronoun Xin to 
refer to S7nT in the biblical text. The question is asked by interpreters, "Are the 'seed' 
and 'he' collective, or is it singular?" "The question," contends Kaiser, "is misdirected, 
especially if the divine intention deliberately wished to designate the collective notion 
which included a personal unity in a single person who was to obtain victory for the 
whole group he represented." Despite the disclaimer that follows about any "retrojec- 
tion from a NT pesher or midrash" one must wonder why the author would think 
along the lines of a "collective notion" which had included in it "a personal unity in a 
single person" with the added idea of "representation," unless, of course, his under- 
standing of later revelation has unfolded to him implicit meanings of the earlier one. 
See also Kaiser, "Legitimate Hermeneutics," 136. 

"Vawter, "The Fuller Sense," 127. 

"Kaiser, "Legitimate Hermeneutics," 127. 



The Dynamics of Revelation 

(Or, The Psychology of Inspiration) 

Whereas conservative evangelicals have staunchly upheld the 
inerrancy, authority and the divine-human authorship of the Scrip- 
tures, inadequate thought and consideration have been directed toward 
the psychology of inspiration." The dynamics of revelation can at 
one extreme be viewed in terms of a mechanical dictation. However, 
it is almost another extreme which balks at the notion that God as 
the principal author could have meant more by the words of Scrip- 
ture than the human instrument did.^'' 

It is true, as Vawter states, that "the words of Scripture have 
been chosen by the sacred writer under the influence of the Holy 
Spirit," that "God himself wrote the text in the first place," and that 
he did it "through a condescension by which he accommodated him- 
self to human speech of given ages, languages, and personalities."" 
However, it is not (strictly speaking) known for a fact that "the 
Scripture was produced by human authors intending to convey their 
own minds [italics added]. "^^ The nature of intention on the part of 
the human authors is crucial for the present discussion. It is possible 
to distinguish kinds of intentions and this has a bearing on the validity 
of any concept of a single intent of Scripture. 

Genres of Intentions? 

The role and function of the human author is not identical 
throughout Scripture. The human author's involvement in epistolary 
writings is not in the same category as the involvement of the writer 
of historical narrative (albeit the latter may also have a theological 
purpose). Such involvement can be distinguished from the role of the 
prophet in prophetic literature. The prophet may record a vision 
which he has seen or may write down the exact words he is com- 
manded to write (cf. Rev 1:11, 19; 2:1; 14:13; 19:9). This type of 
involvement can further be contrasted with the function of an author 
like Moses to whom was revealed words spoken by God before men 
were created and words spoken by men in private before he was born. 
While detailed and sophisticated refinements of these various types of 

"L. Gaussen's classic work Theopneustia: The Plenary Inspiration of the Holy 
Scriptures, rev. ed., trans. David Scott (Chicago: Moody, n.d.) 58-105, can be men- 
tioned. Vawter has given an analysis of historical views from a Roman Catholic 
scholar's perspective in his Biblical Inspiration, 37-75, 95-1 19. 

''ibid., 115. 

''Vawter, "The Fuller Sense," 94. 

''Ibid., 93. 

kunjummen: the single intent of scripture 97 

involvement could be attempted, the present analysis will examine 
whether the intention of the divine author and the human author 
must be identical." 

The lack of total or radical identity (confluence) between the 
intents of the human author and the divine can be demonstrated, for 
instance, in the matter of reporting the words of God. Gen 3:15 is a 
suitable illustration. Following man's sin and the Fall, God spoke to 
Adam, Eve, and the serpent. The meaning of God's words in Gen 3:15 
was determined by God when they were spoken. Even before there 
could possibly have been any human authorial intention with respect 
to those words of God, the words had meaning and were communi- 
cated. God had his authorial intention before there was any human 
intermediary or human cognizance or intention involved in the mes- 
sage. Moreover, Moses never spoke those words — he merely reported 
them. Whereas Adam, Eve and the serpent heard that utterance of 
God, their understanding must not be confused with the ultimate 
meaning of the utterance.^* When Moses reports those words, his 
"authorial intention" is not what determines their truth-intention. It 
must be assumed that Moses understood the utterance just as Adam 
and Eve did. But Moses as the human author of Genesis was not 
seeking to convey exhaustively all the implications which were in the 
awareness of God when he spoke those words in the garden. Moses' 
authorial intention in this case largely consisted of reporting the 
words. What can be said of Gen 3:15 can be said of many, indeed, of 
all other instances of similar reporting (e.g., Gen 12:1-3; 13:14-17; 
15:18-21). If God retained in his own knowledge implications which 
were to be clearly unfolded only later, the truth or extent of the 
implications cannot be known merely by ascertaining the understand- 
ing of Moses. 

God's authorial intention in the report of his own utterance 
includes both the truth-intention of the original utterance and the 
intention to report it in the Scriptures. Only the latter is shared by the 
human author. Therefore, even though the human and divine author 
have the same Uterary and theological intention in reporting the 
words, the meaning of God's statements is not determined by the 
human author's understanding. 

The present writer's thinking on "kinds of intentions" as depicted in this section 
was initiated and helped by pertinent observations (though not necessarily in agree- 
ment with those I have listed) by Prof. Turner and fellow-student Stephen N. Shields 
in the class "Advanced Hermeneutics" taught by the former at Grace Theological 
Seminary, Winona Lake, during Winterim, 1984. 

'*See Walter C. Kaiser, Jr., "The Fallacy of Equating Meaning with Reader's 
Understanding," Trinity Journal 6 OS (1977) 190-93. See also, for biblical examples, 
John 2:19-22; 6:51-60. 


One might ask, "If the meaning of the words of God reported by 
Moses is not to be ascertained by what Moses understood from the 
words, how is it to be understood?" In other words, "What means of 
determining meaning exist other than seeking the understanding of 
the Scripture-writer himself?" In answer to this, it should be noted 
first that the reporting of the words of another does not determine the 
meaning of those words. Second, the reporter's understanding does 
not determine meaning. Such has to be acknowledged in the case of 
ordinary life and must also be acknowledged in the case of the writers 
of Scripture. The writer's understanding need not and should not 
always limit the reader's understanding. Nevertheless, means to 
understand exist. The modern reader may be able to understand the 
words of God better than the prophet who merely reported them 
because God has shown (through the progress of revelation) more 
implications of his utterances than were revealed to the prophet. Of 
course, the modern reader faces linguistic, cultural, and historical 
handicaps which the reporting prophet did not face. 

The writers of Scripture were extraordinary men in the sense that 
God especially equipped them for their task. God used even ungodly 
men like Balaam and Caiaphas to give his oracles, but the writers of 
Scripture were men of God (2 Pet 1:20-21). They were concerned 
about the meaning of revelation and they had deep insight into it. 
However, this fact does not remove the limitations of their finiteness 
and their ignorance of things not revealed to them. 

Moses did not determine the meaning of divine utterances made 
to him or other persons since the truth-intention of such utterances 
was determined by God alone without simultaneous human involve- 
ment. Yet, the meaning of passages recording God's utterances is still 
the object of interpretation. The entire matter finds a nice summary 
in the following words of W. E. Vine: 

Though the writers of Scripture wrote their statements intelligently, 
i.e., in language which was their own, yet frequently their conception of 
the meaning and application of what they wrote was narrower than the 
scope of their writings. The writers shared in the limitations of the 
readers in this respect. They themselves were cognizant of their limita- 
tions, although they were conscious of the Divine authority given them 
that made them realize that their writings covered a far wider range of 
meaning than could be measured by their own apprehension. To this 
the Scripture itself bears witness. For, firstly, we are told that they 
searched into their own records to examine the details of what the 
Spirit of Christ was testifying through them; and secondly, it was 
revealed to them that they were ministering not merely to the men of 
their own time but to God's people of the present age. . . . Similarly 
when Daniel was receiving Divine messages which he records in his 
prophecies he says, "I heard, but I understood not." The words were 

kunjummen: the single intent of scripture 99 

intelligible as such, but their Divine meaning was "shut up and sealed" 
for the time (Dan 12:8, 9)/' 

Relation of Prophetic Instrumentality to Human Will and Judgment 

The contention that "whatever has been produced apart from 
the will and judgment ... of the human author . . . has not been 
brought about precisely through human instrumentality, "^° needs to 
be answered. Scriptural evidence seems to militate against an emphasis 
which inseparably links human will and judgment to prophetic instru- 
mentality or the human authorship of Scripture. 2 Pet 1:21, speaking 
on the authorial role of the prophets who wrote Scripture, does not 
emphasize the active function of their will in the production of 
Scripture. Rather, it emphasizes their passivity in being borne along 
((pepo|ievoi) by the Holy Spirit. The emphasis of the Word of God is 
not upon the necessity of human understanding and the participation 
of human will in the production of Scripture. Instead, it emphasizes 
the divine source. Human instrumentality in delivering the word of 
God is frequently depicted in such a way that it does not demand the 
full participation of the speaker's will and judgment. 

The OT commonly represents prophetic instrumentality as God's 
mouthpiece (HDD 131 ]n3/Qtt?— Deut 18:18, Num 22:38; 23:5, 12, 
16, etc. cf. Exod4:12, 15, 16). Prophetic instrumentality (8ia tou 
7ipo(pr|Tou— Matt 1:22; 2:15, 17, 23; Luke 18:31; Acts 2:16; 28:25, etc.) 
consists of sounding forth or vocalizing the divine message {hXaXr\ae\f/ 
npoeinev / npoKaxr\yyeikev [6 Qeoc,] 5ia ox6\iaTO(; TtpocpriioO — Luke 
1:70; Acts 1:16; 3:18, 21). It would be a denial of the teaching of 
Scripture to say that the prophets had no understanding of the mes- 
sages they delivered (cf. Matt 22:43; Acts 2:25 with 30-31, Rom 4:6; 
see 1 Cor 2:12-13; 1 Pet 1:11).^' It would also be contrary to com- 
mon sense. How could the prophet not understand what his immedi- 
ate audience was expected to understand? Yet the question remains 
whether human instrumentality in the communication/ recording of 
divine revelation required meaning to be completely within the control 
of the human author's cognitive faculties. A message in human lan- 
guage can have fuller meaning or implication to an audience than it 
has to the herald who announces it. Likewise, God does not demand 

''vine, Divine Inspiration of the Bible, 21. The understanding of Dan 12:8, 9 
should be qualified by Dan 10:1, which refers to chaps. 10-12. Yet it remains that 
much more is known of the "references" of the prophecies in these and other chapters 
of Daniel than Daniel himself knew. To argue that the meaning of these prophecies is 
"complete" without knowing their "references" would be similar to insisting that the 
meaning of messianic prophecies are "complete" without regard to the historical identity 
and fulfilled work of the Messiah. 

'"Vawter, "The Fuller Sense," 93. 

"See Kaiser, "The Single Intent," 137, 125-26. 


exhaustive understanding in order for the prophet to function as a 
mouthpiece of God. Though it was an exceptional case, God showed 
that it is possible to communicate in human language through the 
instrument of an irrational creature (Num 22:28-30). The idea of 
confluence in authorial intention is not a biblical one, though it may 
be a Thomistic one. Coppens has stated that some object to sensus 
plenior because it 

is contrary to the Thomistic notion of inspiration whereby Scripture 
and all its meanings are the result of the joint operation of God and 
His instrument. When the sacred writer ceases to play his part, there is 

Thus, it seems that some evangelicals begin with a construct of 
scholastic philosophy and then attempt to accommodate the phe- 
nomena of biblical revelation to it. 

The fact that the Bible has two distinguishable authors has 
implications for the task of exegesis: 

The mystery of the relationship between the human and the divine in 
Biblical authorship should not be set aside until exegesis is finished. It 
is just as much an error to emphasize the divine element at the expense 
of the human as it is to emphasize the human element at the expense of 
the divine. The Bible's human setting and human authorship makes it 
imperative that we gather all knowledge possible to interpret a text 
from its historico-cultural perspective. . . . But throughout this exegeti- 
cal task, not just after, we must seek out the message, the teaching, the 
ultimate meaning — that is, how the Holy Spirit has used this passage 
to reveal the will of God.*^ 


It can be exegetically demonstrated that Scripture does distin- 
guish between the authorial intentions of God and those of the human 

"Joseph Coppens, "The Different Senses of Sacred Scripture," TD 1 (1953) 18. 
Cf. Coppens, "Levels of Meaning in the Bible," Scripture: How Does the Christian 
Confront the Old Testament? (ed. Pierre Benoit et al.. Concilium vol. 30; New York: 
Paulist, 1968) 134, 135; and Bruce Vawter, Biblical Inspiration, 52-56. See also 
Aquinas's Summa, article 4 of both questions 171 and 173. Following a discussion of 
Caiaphas's prophecy he concluded: "Because a prophet's mind is a deficient instrument 
. . . even genuine prophets do not know all that the Holy Spirit intends in visions, 
words and even deeds" (St. Thomas Aquinas, Summa Theologiae, vol. 45, trans, and 
ed. Roland Potter [New York: McGraw-Hill, 1970] 67). 

*'Elmer B. Smick, "Old Testament Theology: The Historico-Genetic Method," 
JETS 26 {\9S3) 148. 

kunjummen: the single intent of scripture 101 

author. This matter will be taken up under three headings: the nature 
of Messianic prophecy, the nature of prediction-fulfillment, and the 
nature of biblical types. 

The Nature of Messianic Prophecy 

1 Pet 1:10-12 has figured prominently in discussions pertaining 
to authorial intention and ignorance. It is one of the "alleged proof 
texts for 'double meaning.'"^'* Familiar versions render the eic; liva of 

V 1 1 as "what person." But Kaiser, with impressive grammatical sup- 
port, argues that the whole phrase eig xiva f\ ttoiov Kaipov is a 
tautology for emphasis. ^^ Even if it were granted that the phrase 
should be understood in this way, this scripture would still raise 
questions concerning authorial intentions. This passage, even though 
it does point out that the prophets knew something about the Messiah, 
at the same time also indicates limitations in their knowledge. The 
prophets prophesied, yet it was the Spirit of Christ within them who 
gave an "advance testimony" (7tpo|iapTupia) of events yet to occur.^^ 

This writer proposes a translation for eic; liva which is preferable 
to the tautological understanding of the phrase. It should be rendered 
"for whom" or "for whose sake." The apostle focused on two matters: 
the time of the revealing of God's salvation and the people to whom it 
was revealed. As for the time, salvation was to be revealed in the 
last/ end time (ev Kaipw eaxaxw, v 5). The prophets made careful 
search and inquiry as to the time of this revealing (tioiov Kaipov, 

V 11). This salvation has been revealed in the gospel which is now 
preached (ft vOv dvr|Yye>.r|, v 12). 

Peter also mentioned the people to whom this salvation was 
revealed by God. The gospel was preached to the recipients of Peter's 
letter. Their election was in accordance with God's foreknowledge. 
An inheritance is reserved for them (eig i>\iaq, v 4). The grace of God 
which was prophesied by the prophets came to them (eig ufxac;, v 10). 
Concerning this grace the prophets had made careful search and 
inquiry. They sought to know "for whose sake" (eig ilva) the Spirit 
was indicating these things (v 11). It was revealed to them that they 
were not serving themselves, but Peter's readers (oux^ ^autoic; u^iv Se, 

V 12). Thus, if the two-fold mystery of recipients and time of ful- 
fillment is noted, the phrase eiq xiva fi Ttoiov Kaipov makes clear 

''Kaiser, "The Single Intent," 125. 

"Ibid., 125-26. 

"The grammar of v 1 1 does not require that the content of prophetic knowledge is 
being outlined when Peter says, "and the glories that would follow." It can be under- 
stood that the time sequence is being indicated because Peter knew that the glory 
followed the suffering, and he is speaking from his own perspective. 


When the Spirit of Christ in the prophets spoke through them, 
he was bearing witness or giving testimony to events in Christ's Ufe 
before they happened. 1 Pet 1:12, along with other scriptures (e.g., 
Rom 1:2; 16:25, 26), show that details of OT prophecies unavailable 
to the OT prophet or hearer are now available. Such details were 
implied in the original prophecies and should not be disregarded in 
the interpretation of the OT. Certain parts of OT revelation, though 
intelligible to the immediate audience, had fullest impact upon a later 
people. Deut 18:15-18 can be cited in this regard. A very evident 
example, aside from Messianic passages, is the case of Isaiah at the 
turn of the eighth century. He prophesied of a sixth century Cyrus 
(Isa45:l). Josiah was named in a prophetic message three centuries 
before his time (1 Kgs 13:2). That eschatological prophecies had 
meaning and significance for the immediate audience is not denied. 
However, detailed outlining of future events (as in Daniel 11) can 
only mean that a prophecy was meant mostly for the benefit of a later 

It becomes necessary, then, when interpreting such biblical texts, 
to do exegesis in the light of later revelation which explains fulfill- 
ment. Later revelation which provides the fuller implications of earlier 
messages must be distinguished, however, from application or signifi- 
cance. Into the latter category falls the teaching of Rom 4:23-24; 
15:4; 1 Cor 9:9; etc. 

The foregoing discussion indicates how authorial intention should 
be understood. If Messianic prophecies are primarily intended for 
people living after the coming of Christ (as 1 Pet 1:12 indicates), then 
the prophecies must be interpreted in the light of the Cross. Thus, 
1 Pet 1:10-12 legitimizes analogia fidei as a proper principle of inter- 
pretation. This would mean also that Christians of the first century 
and later are better able to discern the full implications (i.e., details 
which were planned, purposed and executed by God) which belong to 
the meaning of the message of the prophets. 

Analogy of How Much Scripture? 

The analogy of antecedent Scripture as a strict canon of interpre- 
tation is not a valid one. This has been discussed above in reference 
to intrinsic genre. Some specific examples can be discussed. When 
later revelation clearly identifies the serpent of Genesis 3 as Satan 
(Rev 12; 20:2), the knowledge of such identity cannot and should not 
be shut out from the interpreter's mind. When Christ said in John 8:56 
that Abraham rejoiced to see his day, this becomes a fact of Abra- 
ham's life and history even though the information is provided to the 
interpreter much later in the canon. If messianic awareness is attrib- 
uted to Abraham, his life and history will be perceived and inter- 
preted with altered emphasis. Indeed, exegetes often emphasize the 

kunjummen: the single intent of scripture 103 

psychology of the biblical authors and characters in order to gairi a 
fuller understanding of the text. When the NT reveals more facts 
concerning the persons and events of the OT than is available in the 
OT (cf. Hebrews II; Jude 14, 15; and 2 Pet 2:6-7 on Cain and Abel, 
Abraham, Moses' parents, Moses, Enoch, and Lot), it is essential to 
approach the interpretation of the relevant portions of Genesis and 
the rest of the canon in the light of these facts. It must be confessed, 
however, that in the case of John 8:56 the task is not easy. 

Another relevant consideration is the question of how people of 
OT times understood references to the Spirit of God, and how Chris- 
tians, following the completion of the canon, understand the refer- 
ences.^^ It is doubtful that the OT saints, or the OT writers in 
particular, had the same notion concerning the Spirit of God which 
can be found in the NT. Yet the NT makes ample correlation between 
wnbn mn (or nTf mn) and to nvev^ia ayiov (0£oC). The Spirit who 
spoke through the OT prophets is the third person of the Godhead. It 
is not right to confine oneself to Moses' understanding when Gen 1:2; 
6:3; Num 1 1:25, 29 and other passages are read. God did not confine 
himself to Moses' understanding when he revealed those Scriptures. 

Implications of the Doctrine of Inspiration for Interpretation 

The analogy of antecedent Scripture does not take into account 
some of the implications which Scripture's inspiration holds for its 
interpretation. On a number of occasions the NT limits the interpre- 
tive options available to the modern exegete and scholar. A prominent 
example is the citation of Ps 8:5 in Heb 2:7, which, following the 
LXX, interprets WTl^H of the MT as ayyeXovc,. In spite of the under- 
standing of many translators and commentators, it is incorrect to 
understand DTlVx in Ps 8:5 as meaning God.^^ However, even if cur- 
rent scholarship and exegetical insight found no precedent for render- 
ing D'nVx as "angels," an alternate interpretation could not be affirmed 
without impugning the authority of the book of Hebrews. Another 
example would be the restriction of the meaning of noVvn in Isa 7:14 
to f) napQevoc, in the light of Matt 1:23. In both of these instances 
there is more than the mere citation of the OT passage in the New. 
The argument of the NT in these cases is dependent upon the particu- 
lar lexical choice. The bearing of such NT usage upon the exegesis of 

''^Raymond E. Brown {The Sensus Plenior of Sacred Scripture [Baltimore: St. 
Mary's University, 1955] 140) cites this as one of the examples given by de Ambroggi 
as "susceptible of a sensus plenior." 

'*Cf. A. A. Anderson, Psalms (NCBC; Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1981) 1:103; and 
Gleason L. Archer and G. C. Chirichigno, Old Testament Quotations in the New 
Testament: A Complete Survey (Chicago: Moody, 1983) 59. After citing other OT 
examples, the latter state: "*A little lower than God' is totally unacceptable in view of 
the transcendence of God taught in the OT." 


the OT passage is not controverted by the fact the NT in these 
instances follows the text-form of the LXX.^^ The lexical choice of 
the LXX translators amounts to extra-biblical testimony in harmony 
with the Scriptures. 

The Nature of Prediction- Fulfillment 

A study of prediction and fulfillment in the Scriptures serves to 
identify issues pertaining to authorial intent. A case to consider is 
Psalm 16 and its use in the book of Acts (2:25-33; 13:32-37). Two 
recent studies have paid great attention to the hermeneutical issues 
involved.™ Kaiser employs "a blend of views between the ancient 
Antiochian concept of theoria and Willis J. Beecher's concept of 
promise theology."" His view can be summarized as follows: 

In Psalm 16, . . . David is God's hasid, "favored one," yet not David as 
a mere person but David as the recipient and conveyor of God's ancient 
but ever-renewed promise. Therefore as Beecher concluded: "The man 
David may die, but the hhasidh is eternal. Just as David is the Anointed 
One, and yet the Anointed One is eternal; just as David is the Servant, 
and yet the Servant is eternal; so David is the hhasidh, and yet the 
hhasidh is eternal. David as an individual went to the grave, and saw 
corruption there, but the representative of Yahaweh [5/V] eternal 
promise did not cease to exist" (Beecher, Prophets and the Promise, 
p. 325)." 

Kaiser believes that his approach has avoided the pitfalls of sensus 
plenior and similar "evils" as his conclusion states: 

Without injecting any contrived artifices of dualism, docetism or 
spiritual hermeneutics, we believe that David, as the man of promise 
and as God's hasid, was in his person, office and function one of the 
distinctive historical fulfillments to that word that he received about his 
seed, dynasty and throne. Therefore he rested secure in the confident 
hope that even death itself would not prevent him from enjoying the 
face-to-face fellowship with his Lord even beyond death, since that 
ultimate hasid would triumph over death. For David, this was all one 
word: God's ancient but ever-new promise. '^ 

The elevation of the personage addressed in the psalm to a high 
degree of abstraction does not do away with sensus plenior, or the 

^^Ka^eoouoiv of Matt 1:23 occurs only in less than half of the LXX minuscules. 
Others have the third person singular or second person ending. 

™Kaiser, "The Promise to David"; and Johnson, "Author's Intention." Johnson 
sees "references plenior" in the psalm (p. 427). 

"Kaiser, "The Promise to David," 222. 

"ibid., 225-26. 

"ibid., 229. 

kunjummen: the single intent of scripture 105 

issue of multiple fulfillments. The problem is clarified by what the 
Spirit of God says about this psalm through the apostles Peter and 

Peter's exegetical logic (Acts 2:29-33) appears to run as follows: 

1. The psalm cannot apply to David. The reason for this is that the 
"Holy One" will not see corruption; but David's body is still in the 
grave — decayed (2:29). 

2. The psalm was not meant to apply to David. He was a prophet; he 
looked ahead. He predicted Christ's resurrection (2:30-32). 

3. The prophecy was fulfilled in Christ (2:31-33).^" 

If it is possible that David also envisioned himself as subject in 
the psalm, the fact would still remain that he died and has not yet 
experienced resurrection. In whatever manner Ps 16:10 could apply to 
him, it could not apply to Christ in the same way. That is to say, the 
verbal meaning of the scripture has to be construed differently when 
referring to David and to Christ. 

That the postulation of generic entities does not solve the prob- 
lem of the reality of concrete implications can be demonstrated from 
another NT citation from the Psalms. Acts 1:16 poses a far greater 
challenge to the theory of confluence in authorial intentions. Acts 1:16 
reads, "It was necessary for the Scripture to be fulfilled which the 
Holy Spirit spoke beforehand concerning Judas." The following 
observations need to be made: 

1. The prediction concerning Judas was ypacprj (not just a subjective 
sensus plenior). 

2. It was spoken Ttepi 'Iou5a (not merely a generic "enemy of the 
Anointed One").'^ 

3. It was spoken by the Holy Spirit by the mouth of David. Bruce's 
comments on this are very appropriate: 

'"it should be noted that the present discussion is totally irrelevant if it is held that 
the psalm is entirely predictive. Kaiser's interpretation is still significant for the bearing 
it has on "the single intent." F. F. Bruce (The Book of Acts [NICNT; Grand Rapids: 
Eerdmans, 1980], 71) has observed that "In the psalm here quoted (Peter's argument 
runs), the words cannot refer to David." If this is correct, exegetes should not interpret 
it as referring to David. 

"The present writer does find useful the concept of "generic prophecy"/or under- 
standing the psychology of the prophet in such instances as the predictions of Joel and 
Malachi (which are discussed by Kaiser). See Walter C. Kaiser, Jr. "The Promise of 
God and the Outpouring of the Holy Spirit: Joel 2:28-32 and Acts 2:16-21," in The 
Living and Active Word of God: Essays in Honor of Samuel J. Schultz (ed. Morris 
Inch and Ronald Youngblood; Winona Lake, IN: Eisenbrauns, 1983) 109-22; Walter C. 
Kaiser, Jr., "The Promise of the Arrival of Elijah in Malachi and the Gospels," GTJ3 


For those who beHeved Jesus was the Messiah, this meant that many of 
the experiences predicted of the Psalmist (David) were understood as 
prophetically applicable to Jesus (Cf. Ch. 2:25ff., 34ff.). Then what was 
said of the Psalmist's enemies would be interpreted of the enemies of 
Jesus (Cf. Ch. 4:25ff.). . . . There are other places in NT where "testi- 
monies" to the fate of Judas are quoted or alluded to. . . . So Peter 
here adduces further "testimonies" from the Psalter to the same effect. 
Their real author, he avers, is the Holy Spirit, who spoke through the 
prophets. David, being a prophet, was but a spokesman or mouthpiece 
of the inspiring Spirit.'* 

4. The Psalm texts cited in Acts 1:20, therefore, were intended by the 
Holy Spirit to refer to the historical individual Judas and had to 
be fulfilled. They are not merely apostolic applications under the 
sanction of the Spirit of God. At the stage of their being uttered by 
David, God had Judas in mind. 

The question must be asked whether David was really thinking 
of Judas when he wrote Ps 69:25 and Ps 109:8. There is no evidence 
in the psalms themselves that he was. Both psalms are fully applicable 
to David's own experience. In fact, Ps 69:5 cannot be a confession of 
David's antitype. To posit "generic" entities here cannot do away with 
the reality of concrete references. 

The NT revelation here reveals the additional, fuller meaning of 
the OT text which could not be understood until a later stage of 
history. Yet, the meaning belongs with the OT scripture. Smick has 
stated the matter as follows: 

The NT is in the context of the OT and as its historical goal reveals the 
total meaning of the OT. The NT writers themselves make clear to us 
the importance of the typological approach to the OT as an indis- 
pensable tool and exegetical method. They did not consider it as an 
arbitrary importation or as a way of ferreting out hidden meanings." 

The Nature of Biblical Types 

The predictiveness of types is a highly debated matter. But if the 
activity of God in inspiration is acknowledged, a predictive intention 
of biblical types may be acknowledged.'^ Additionally, there are 
exegetical evidences which show that God intended OT types to pre- 
figure their antitypes. Such an intention may not have been shared by 
the human author. Two examples can be given. 

'T. F. Bruce, Acts, 48. 
"Smick, "Old Testament Theology," 152. 
Cf. the view of S. Lewis Johnson, Jr., The Old Testament in the New (Grand 
Rapids: Zondervan, 1980) 56, 76. 

kunjummen: the single intent of scripture 107 

Hebrews 8:5 

The writer of Hebrews repeatedly emphasized that the institu- 
tions of the Old Covenant were symbolic and typical (8:2, 5; 9:9, 23, 
24), and did not accomplish any service of lasting value (i.e., to 
expiate sins). The Old Covenantal institutions served to illustrate 
"better" things. The tabernacle itself was a copy of the "true" taber- 
nacle, which is heaven itself (8:2; 9:23-24). In 8:5 there is a "Scrip- 
tural" proof for the symbolic (typical) significance of the tabernacle. 
The argument runs as follows. 

The levitical priesthood served in the context q/that which was a 
copy and shadow of heavenly things (ol'tiveg UTtoSeiyiiaxi Kai OKiq 
?LaTp8uouaiv xwv eTioupavicDV — oi'iivec; refers back to npoacpepovxcov). 
The dative can be considered instrumental (as BAGD indicates: 
"Hebrews also adds to X,aTpeu8iv in the dative the holy object by 
means of which the priest renders service 8:5; 13:10.")^^ It may be 
preferable, however, to take it as an associative dative^° or even as 
locative of place (A. T. Robertson argues that these are not rare in 
the NT^'). The writer of Hebrews goes on to prove that the taber- 
nacle was a copy and shadow of heaven. He finds such an implication 
or evidence in God's words to Moses. 

When God gave Moses detailed instruction concerning how to 
build the tabernacle, he adjured him three times to follow the plans 
exactly (Exod 25:9, 40; 26:30). According to the author of Hebrews, 
the reason for such adjuration was the fact that the tabernacle was 
intended to reflect heaven. 

The author introduces his argument with KaOwc;. KaOdix; intro- 
duces the quotation, but it also thereby establishes connection between 
what follows and that which precedes it. That the tabernacle was a 
copy of heaven is demonstrated by God's words to Moses,*^ for 
(explanatory ydp) "see," he says, "that you make all things according 
to the pattern which was shown you on the mountain." 

The relevance of this matter for any discussion of authorial 
intentions is this: when God said the above words to Moses, part of 
the reason for his doing so was the fact that the tabernacle was to be 

See ^atpeuo). 
*°Cf. BDF, § 198 (5). 
A. T. Robertson, A Grammar of the Greek New Testament in the Light of 
Historical Research (Nashville: Broadman, 1934) 521. 

^'Note the comments of F. F. Bruce in Hebrews (NICNT; Grand Rapids: Eerd- 
mans, 1964) 165: "For the earthly sanctuary from the outset was designed to be nothing 
more than a 'copy and shadow' of the heavenly reality. This is how our author under- 
stands the divine injunction to Moses, regarding the details of the tabernacle in the 


a copy of heaven. Moses had to be careful to follow the "blueprint" 
exactly in order to preserve the pattern. The divine admonition had 
such a purpose in view, namely, the intention to provide a type. But 
was Moses aware of such intention?*^ 

The conclusion of the matter is that there was an implication or 
intention present in God's words to Moses which Moses was not 
aware of. It must at least be conceded that Moses did not leave a 
clear indication of his awareness of the typical intention that God had 
for the institution of the tabernacle. However, if Hebrews is inter- 
preted grammatically and contextually, God's words to Moses defin- 
itely had such an implication. Such a meaning was "interpreted" from 
those words by the writer of Hebrews who is not reporting a new 
revelation but exegeting the OT to prove his point. *'' In the light of 
this fact, divine authorial intention cannot be identified with the 
understanding and intention of the human author to such an extent 
that the former is not in any manner or degree distinct from the 

The quotation from Exod 25:40 given in Heb 8:5 is another 
statement which involves the direct statement of God. This is similar 
to the case of Gen 3:15 dealt with previously. In the cases of "report- 
ing" God's words by a human author, the student of Scripture may 
not be justified in restricting meaning to the human author's under- 
standing. Divine authorial intention included whatever intention 
Moses had in writing the book of Exodus stemming from his under- 
standing of these words. But the divine authorial intention involved, 
additionally, God's meaning and purpose for that statement itself. 
Over this matter Moses had no control. Neither did his understanding 
determine or limit the extent of implications which believers of a later 
time period might discern in the light of more facts progressively 

Hebrews 9:8, 9 

Heb 9:8, 9 presents additional thoughts concerning the meaning 
of the tabernacle. In 9: 1-5 the OT tabernacle is described. In vv 6 and 
7 the fact is pointed out that the outer court was constantly accessible 
but the Holy of Holies could be entered only once a year by the high 

If Moses knew the intention on the part of God to provide a type, such aware- 
ness is not reflected in the text. However, if Moses was aware of a typical intention for 
the tabernacle, then, clearly, the type is "predictive." What shall be said, then, concern- 
ing the predictiveness of other Scriptural types? 

^■"There is room to consider that part of the teaching ministry of the Paraclete to 
the apostles (John 14:26; 16:13-15) was "illumination." Note, for instance, John's use 
of the word envr|a9r|aav in John 12:16. 

kunjummen: the single intent of scripture 109 

priest who would take with him the blood of the sacrifice which he 
offered for himself and for the people. This inaccessibility of the inner 
tabernacle had symbolic implications. From the nature of the service 
in the tabernacle the Holy Spirit showed that "the way into the holiest 
is not manifest while the first (i.e., the outer) tabernacle still has a 
standing/ existence." This is a 7rapaPo>tfj for the time that has come. 
It is very unlikely that Moses meant that the inaccessibility of the 
inner tabernacle signified the temporary nature of that ministry. 
Neither is it likely that Moses meant that the way into the Holiest was 
not yet ([ir\K()i) revealed or that the tabernacle had a "parabolic" 
lesson to teach. But the Holy Spirit, the divine author, was "reveal- 
ing" (5r|>.oOvTO(;, 'making clear') such things. ^^ Therefore, seeing the 
authorial intentions of the divine author and the human author to be 
thoroughly identical cannot be justified. 


The present writer has attempted to show that a principle like, 
"The Bible is to be interpreted by the same rules as other books, "^^ is 
not an absolutely valid dictum for biblical interpretation when it 
comes to authorial intention. Divine accommodation in the use of 
human language is not tantamount to divine self-reduction of author- 
ial intent to the understanding of the biblical writer. 

By way of conclusion, the following statements could be repeated, 
though penned in an earlier generation. They reflect for the most part 
thoughts that summarize what has been stated in this paper. 

What, then are we to understand by divine inspiration? 

Divine inspiration is the mysterious power put forth by the Spirit 
of God on the authors of holy writ, to make them write it, to guide 
them even in the employment of the words they use, and thus to 
preserve them from all error. 

What are we told of the spiritual power put forth on the men of 
God while they were writing their sacred books? 

We are told that they were led or moved "not by the will of 
man, but by the Holy Ghost; so that they set forth the things of 
God, not in words which man's wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy 
Ghost teacheth." "God," says the apostle, "spake by the prophets at 
sundry times, and in divers manners;" sometimes enabling them to 
understand what he made them say; sometimes without doing so. . . . 

But what passed in their hearts and minds while they were writing? 

*"This would be an appropriate place to discuss the role of divine illumination in 
exegesis. However, it is beyond the scope of this study. 
**Kaiser, "Legitimate Hermeneutics," 119. 


This we cannot tell. . . . 

What then must we think of those definitions of divine inspiration, 
in which Scripture seems to be represented as the altogether human 
expression of a revelation altogether divine? . . . 

These definitions are not exact, and may give rise to false notions 
of inspiration. . . . They contradict facts. ... In fact, they assume its 
being nothing more than the natural expression of a supernatural 
revelation; and that the men of God had merely of themselves, and in a 
human way, to put down in their books what the Holy Ghost made 
them see in a divine way, in their understandings. But inspiration is 
more than this. Scripture is not the mind of God elaborated by the 
understanding of man, to be promulgated in the words of man; it is at 
once the mind of God and the word of God .... 

Finally, it is always the inspiration of the book that is presented to 
us as an object of faith, never the inward state of him that writes it. His 
knowledge or ignorance nowise affects the confidence I owe to his 
words; and my soul ought ever to look not so much to the lights of his 
understanding as to the God of all holiness, who speaks to me by his 

^'Oaussen, Theopneuslia, 106-12. 

Grace Theological Journal 7. 1 ( 1 986) 1 1 1 - 1 23 


Classical Apologetics: A Rational Defense 
George J. Zemek, Jr. 

Classical Apologetics: A Rational Defense of the Christian Faith and a 
Critique of Presuppositional Apologetics, by R. C. Sproul, John Gerstner, 
and Arthur Lindsley. Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1984. Pp. 364. $12.95. 

It is increasingly rare these days to find a book in which the contents 
really correspond to its title. However, this volume is indeed both a presenta- 
tion and defense of "classical" apologetics and a critique of presupposition- 
alism. Furthermore, it is well written (especially in those difficult portions 
dealing with sophisticated philosophical interactions) and fairly well organ- 
ized. However, the format employing endnotes is inconvenient. 

The greatest asset of Sproul, Gerstner, and Lindsley's argumentation is 
at one and the same time this volume's greatest deficit — an uncompromising 
defense of traditional apologetics. They certainly cannot be charged with 
ambivalence, but they frequently may be perceived by the reader as being 
arrogantly dogmatic. Consider, for example, the following excerpts: 

If there is no reasoned defense for the Christian faith there can be no sound 
Christianity [p. 97]. ... At their classical best, the theistic proofs are not merely 
probable but demonstrative [p. 101]. . . . We have endeavored to update the 
traditional theistic arguments, trying to show that when properly formulated they 
are compelling certainties and not merely suggestive possibilities [p. 136]. . . . 
Miracles are visible and external and perceivable by both converted and un- 
converted alike, carrying with them the power to convince, if not to convert 
[p. 145]. . . . Aquinas, Edwards, Butler, Reid, Warfield, Beattie, Orr, and others 
. . . were assuming, rightly we believe [italics added], that the mind as a faculty 
or power remained and functioned as it was intended to do. Therefore, it can 
and does survey the evidence and h can and does draw proper conclusions, with 
detachment and neutrality [p. 258]. ... We have seen that the traditional view 
sees natural man as capable of understanding not only the world but the Bible 
itself. The unregenerate need no supernatural, spiritual, illumination to under- 
stand anything of which the human mind is capable ... [p. 298]; [etc.]. 

From this inflexible perspective they often criticize such apologetical 'com- 
promisers' as Geisler, Montgomery, Pinnock, and others (cf. pp. 125-26, 


Nothing interrupts the authors' tenacity to traditionism. They are not 
deterred by the reservations of their verificationalist contemporaries, nor by 
the balanced arguments of Augustine, Luther and Calvin, and most un- 
fortunately, not even by exegetical theology. Historical tradition, auspiciously 
labeled by them as "classical" and "Reformed" (e.g., pp. 296, 319, etc.), is 
their ultimate yardstick. This becomes most conspicuous in their critique of 

Presuppositionalism has become the majority report today among Reformed 
theologians, although it cannot even be called a minority report of church 
history. If Charles Hodge is right [for them this is a Class I assumption], that 
what is new is not true and what is true is not new, presuppositionalism, being 
new, falls of its own weight [p. 183]. ... We will show that this new apologetic 
was virtually unheard of for eighteen centuries, only coming into its own in this 
one [p. 188]. 

Besides reminding the authors that justification by faith did not "come into 
its own" until the sixteenth century, it must be said that their classical position 
has a massive Romanist footing and foundation. In the volume they skillfully 
circumvented this fact with only one passing paragraph (p. 210). Conse- 
quently, for these reasons and more importantly exegetical ones the following 
statement by the authors should be no cause of embarrassment to the pre- 
suppositionahst: "But, we hope . . . that presuppositionalists and other fideists 
[sic] think wishfully that the traditional position supports them will grant 
that it does not" (p. 211). 

Undoubtedly, the greatest shortcoming of this treatise is its detachment 
from the moorings of biblical exegesis. Although the authors are long on 
polemical engagements with Van Til and others in the philosophical arena in 
which they sometimes prove themselves as victors, they forfeit many battles 
in the arena of theological exegesis. This charge will be substantiated specif- 
ically in the following pages of this reviev/; however, a preliminary criticism 
needs to be made in reference to one assumption which permeates their whole 
argument. This assumption is that there is a dichotomy between "mind" and 
"heart" (cf. pp. ix, 21, 219, 243, 297,. etc.). However, if one conducts a careful 
investigation of 2V / KapSla (i.e., the seat of both rational and volitional 
functions) in anthropologically and hamartiologically significant contexts, 
the endeavor yields more than sufficient evidence to render their above 
assumption a biblically false dichotomy. Not so incidentally, it is in this area 
of theological exegesis that presuppositionalism displays its preeminent attri- 
bute: "Thus, for the presuppositionalist, theology and apologetics are in- 
separable. A sound theology is essential for a sound apologetic" (p. 187). 

Prior to a chapter by chapter critique, a word needs to be said about the 
seemingly incongruous dedication of Classical Apologetics "to Cornelius Van 
Til who has taught a generation that Christ is the Alpha and Omega of 
thought and life." Apart from these words and one edifying paragraph 
(pp. 183-84), Van Til is sometimes caricatured during the authors' critique of 
presuppositionalism (e.g., pp. 234-39, 263, etc.). A tactic of guilt by associa- 
tion (especially with existential and Neoorthodox fideists) is also employed. 
This reviewer found such apparent innuendoes offensive. 

zemek: classical apologetics 113 

"The Crisis of Secularism" is the topic of chap. 1. Sproul, Gerstner, and 
Lindsley draw a proper distinction between "secular" and "secularism" (along 
with other -isms, pp. 3-5). After some good observations relating to the 
meaning and impact of secularism (pp. 6-12), they attribute its epidemic to 
the wrong cause — the waning of traditional apologetics (p. 12). 

A brief but bold definition of apologetics stands at the head of chap. 2 
(i.e., "The Task of Apologetics"): "Apologetics is the reasoned defense of the 
Christian religion" (p. 13). It is in this chapter that the authors begin their 
guilt by association arguments. Anti-rationalistic existentialists are associated 
with theological fideists (pp. 13-17; cf. p. 33; etc.) leading to the conclusion 
that "presuppositionalism is orthodoxy's defense of no-reasoned defense for 
Christianity" (p. 16). In response to this it is their "hope" that "presup- 
positionalism will be giving way more and more to classical apologetics as a 
reasonable modern response to reasonable modern people who want a reason 
why they should believe'" (p. 16, italics added). The emphasized portion of 
this quotation draws attention to their hamartiological deficiency which will 
characterize the rest of the volume. That their "hope" is naively idealistic is 
intimated not only by biblical theology but also by their concession on the 
very next page: "Sin complicates both the knowing and the object known, 
adding clarification to the already heavy responsibility of apologetics" (p. 17). 
Yet it becomes progressively obvious that the authors do not view this truth 
as seriously as they should. 

The portion of chap. 2 dealing with "Apologetics: God's Example and 
Command" suffers from quantitative and qualitative deficiencies. It is far 
too brief to support the dogmatic conclusions postulated by the authors. 
Their conclusions regarding a normative methodology are in need of biblical 
modification in the light of prevalent scriptural evidences substantiating a 
presuppositional model. Also, their restriction of 5ia?i£yo|iai to a technically 
philosophical sphere of usage fails to understand Luke's employment of the 
term in its common first-century context of the Jewish synagogue (i.e., a 
preaching and teaching emphasis, not a polemical one; cf. Schrenk, "Sia- 
X.SYO|aai, 5ia>^oy{J^o|aai, Sia^ioyiaiiog," TDNT 2 [1964] 94-95; and Fiirst, 
"5ia?iOY{i;onai," NIDNTT 3. 821; etc.). 

"Natural Theology and Fideism" are on center stage in chap. 3. At the 
outset the authors call attention to some important distinctions; for example, 
"there is a crucial difference between natural (general) revelation and natural 
theology" (p. 26). After a preliminary historical survey of natural theology 
emphasizing the skepticism of the philosophical fideists (pp. 26-35; note the 
rare concession that the existential fideism of Barth was "unalloyed"; cf. p. 34 
on "Earth's type of fideism" [italics added]), they bring forth their major 
contention in the section entitled "the 'Back of the Book' Method": "But the 
question remains: do we move from general revelation to special revelation or 
from special revelation to general revelation?" (p. 36). Much of the subsequent 
development of their treatise deals with this issue of sequential priority as it 
relates to the apologetical task. However, let it be said that the biblical data 
seems to support a both/ and perspectival emphasis which would indicate that 
the data are not intended to force an issue of methodological priority. Should 
one feel compelled to make a decision at this juncture, Kuyper's is preferable 


in the light of mankind's epistemological predicament outlined in Romans 1 
and in other places (cf. also Reymond's The Justification of Knowledge): 
"According to Kuyper there is a general revelation but no correct natural 
theology unless and until one has the light of special revelation" (p. 38). 

Chap. 4, "The Bibhcal Evidence Confirming Natural Theology," is the 
most exegetically oriented chapter in the book. However, some of the most 
crucial scriptural data were either not mentioned or not stressed. Concerning 
Romans 1, the authors made several good points, e.g., "suppression of the 
truth is at the heart of Paul's indictment of paganism" (p. 42). They also 
mentioned the significance of God's nature being "clearly perceived" in 
natural revelation (p. 43); nevertheless, their case could have been strength- 
ened all the more by some significant observations on the force of KaBopdco. 
An extremely significant conclusion arises from this: "In Romans 1:20, Paul 
is affirming that humans can in fact move from the phenomenal realm to the 
noumenal realm, making the dispute with Kant all the more vivid" (p. 44). 
Their point is well taken; however, one must never forget the undergirding 
context of Rom 1:18-3:20 (e.g., mankind's suppression of truth and God's 
judicial abandonment of the race). The authors are certainly justified in 
criticizing those who water down the teaching of Rom 1:19-20 (cf. pp. 48- 
49), but they appropriately concede the enormous difficulty anyone encoun- 
ters in trying to systematize an epistemology based upon the exegetical data 
of Romans 1 (p. 50; cf. David L. Turner, "Cornelius Van Til and Romans 
1:18-21," GTJ 2 [1981] 45-58). 

"There are those who argue that the objective general revelation is there 
for all to see, but that because of the fall into sin and especially because of the 
influence of sin on the mind (the noetic effects of sin) the objective revelation 
never gets through, it is not subjectively appropriated" (p. 47). Sproul, 
Gerstner, and Lindsley fail to heed the exegetical and theological evidence 
that motivates this conclusion. Although the authors mention Rom 1:21b and 
1:28 (cf. pp. 52-56), they refuse to accept the practical epistemological 
implications of mankind's futility in reference to his reasonings (SmXoyio- 
lioii;), his darkened mind (dauvsxog Kap5ia; cf. 1 CI 36:2), and God's giving 
them over to an unapproved, depraved mind (ctSoKiiaoi; voO(;). This and other 
biblical data stand conspicuously opposed to their bold conclusions (cf. their 
assertions 7-9 on p. 62). In addition, their apologetical mandate "to establish 
once again a sound natural theology" (p. 63) is an exercise in futility in the 
light of mankind's moral and noetic predicament (cf. Gen 6:5; 8:21; Mark 
7:20-23; Eph 4:17-19; etc.). 

Chap. 5 dealing with method is a strange admixture of dogmatism and 
reservation (contra their reprimand of compromisers mentioned at the outset 
of this review). The strongest point of this chapter is its periodic appeal to 
pragmatic argumentation. For example, they commendably expose dialectical 
gibberish (a la Barth, et al): "Talking in contradictions is nonsense, regardless 
of how transcendently profound it may sound" (p. 76). Concerning "the Law 
of Noncontradiction as a Universal Prerequisite for Life" (pp. 80-82), the 
authors astutely remark, "All people hold to it in fact, though some do deny 
it" (p. 80). Additionally, in reference to the "law of causality," it is observed 
that "it too may be denied by the mouth but not by the life" (p. 84). One 

zemek: classical apologetics 115 

could wish that this refreshing practicaHty would infiltrate some of their 
errant extrapolations. 

Some key reservations which they honestly acknowledge need to be 
pointed out. Of significance is the affirmation that "variant epistemologies 
produce variant conclusions" (p. 67). They also acknowledge that "logical 
errors occur in the application of the law of causality. The fallacies of faulty 
causal generalization and of false cause are perils to the application of the 
law" (p. 83). In other places the following cautions are posted: 

Because our senses are fallible and limited we speak of basic or rudimentary 
reliability of sense perception rather than total, perfect, or infallible reliability. 
. . . The barrier to achieving perfect universality of classification is not merely 
the weakness of our sensory equipment or apparatus but the limits of the scope 
of our investigation, limits that are imposed by space and time. ... It is because 
of this problem of the relationship between induction and certainty that many 
Christian apologists have sought to avoid any dependence on empirical data for 
building a case for the existence of God. ... To venture into the empirical realm 
of sense perception is assumed to necessitate a foray into the hopeless land of 
probability and its attending levels of uncertainty [again, cf. some of the reserva- 
tions of the compromisers]. . . . This is what motivates the presuppositional 
apologists to begin their apologetics whh the assumption of the existence of 
God [pp. 87, 88, 89]. 

In spite of these and other significant reservations, the authors' verifi- 
cational dogmatism is not stifled: "We will endeavor to show that we can 
move from the phenomenal to the noumenal by the application of the law of 
noncontradiction, the law of causality, and the basic reliability of sense per- 
ception" (p. 89). The primary factor of underestimation which has contributed 
to this unjustifiable dogmatism is in the area of what they call "psychological 
prejudice" (pp. 69-70). Although the authors acknowledge that "even a sound 
epistemic system, flawless deductive reasoning, and impeccable inductive pro- 
cedure does not guarantee a proper conclusion" (p. 69; cf. the practical and 
theological reasons given for this on p. 70!), they fail to apply the hamar- 
tiological connection to method. Although they concede "if we consider com- 
mon ground to mean a common perception and perspective of reality, then 
obviously no such common ground for discussion exists between believer and 
unbeliever" (p. 70), yet they champion a common epistemological ground. 
Incidentally, they subsequently speak of "a kind o/ common ground" (p. 71, 
italics added) which in its paragraph context is the very same "kind" sup- 
ported by Van Til! 

A well-argued case for the ontological argument as developed by Anselm 
and perfected especially by Edwards is offered in chap. 6. Although Sproul, 
Gerstner, and Lindsley's communication is extremely sharp in reference to 
this profound philosophical debate, they necessarily succumb to that which 
they hate; they introduce into their argument several nondemonstrable assump- 
tions. For example, the very last sentence of the chapter presuppositionally 
asserts: '"Infinite being must exist because we cannot conceive of its not 
existing"" (p. 108). Some of the other assumptions standing behind this bold 
conclusion are: 


Once we think of the possibihty of God, everything is proven. To think of being 
is to know being [p. 101]. .. . We cannot think of the nonexistence of perfect, 
necessary being. Therefore, that being must exist [p. 102]. . . . When one adds 
the simple observation that the necessary proof of anything is the inability to 
think of its nonexistence, this establishes the necessary existence of the perfect 
being [p. 103]. . . . But the idea of a necessary being does include in it eternally 
necessary existence [p. 106] . . . ; [etc.]. 

Such boldness has resulted from the authors' failure to heed at least 
two warnings. The first has to do with the justifiable reservations of mod- 
erate rationalists; it is the warning that one must not leap from ontological 
probability to ontological certitude (once again, remember the compromisers). 
The second warning is far more serious; it involves the practical implications 
of a biblical hamartiology. That the authors are once again culpable may be 
illustrated through the implications of statements of theirs such as: "But does 
a human seeking God prove the finding of Him?" (p. 99, italics added). In the 
light of Psalm 14 (cf. Psalm 53), Romans 3, etc., they need to submit their 
assumptions and conclusions to an exegetical scrutiny pertaining to a scrip- 
turally sound and practical view of man and sin. 

Chap. 7 organizationally follows with their defense of "the Cosmological 
and Teleological Arguments." The bottom line of their "updated" defense (cf. 
p. 136) is once again the tally of several nonverifiable assumptions. It should 
be pointed out, however, that there are several noteworthy concessions and 
challenges recorded in this chapter. Concerning the former, the authors well 

We say that the cosmos, which almost all of us recognize, argues a Cosmic 
Mind, which all of us should acknowledge. If we do not, it must be for some 
reason other than lack of orderliness. ... It will turn out that a priori we do not 
believe that there is a Cosmic Mind. . . . Because of our a priori, we will not 
allow ourselves to see a posteriori evidence of an orderly cosmos. None are so 
blind as those who will not see [p. 1 15, italics added]. 

Concerning significant challenges, the one relating to Montgomery's improper 
utilization of John 7:17 is illustrative: 

But this is not the way Christ intended this statement: First, this cannot be an 
invitation to an unbeliever to experiment because it is morally impossible for an 
unbeliever to do the will of God. To do God's will one must begin by believing 
in Him and repenting of one's sins which, ex hypothesi, an unbeliever will not 
do. An experimenting unbeliever is a contradiction in terms. ... So far from 
this text being an invitation to unbelievers to experiment, it is a rebuke to them 
that their not doing God's will is the source of their blind unbelief [p. 127]. 

Such biblically based concessions and challenges need to be taken far more 
seriously by the authors themselves. One wonders about their theological and 
apologetical assumptions when they pose the following questions (p. 127): 

What objection is there against logical compulsion? What is logic if it is not 
compelling? If the case for Christianity is merely suggestive, or merely makes 
consideration feasible or intelligible or respectable, why should anyone convert? 

Are we to believe that logic usurps the prerogatives of the omnipotent Spirit 
(e.g., John 16:8)7 

zemek: classical apologetics 117 

Chap. 8, "Supernatural Revelation and Miracles," is unfortunately char- 
acterized by axiopistic excess as illustrated by the following quotation: "Now 
we have thus proved that the Bible is the Word of God on this formula: 
Natural revelation plus miracle plus claimed revelation proves revelation" 
(p. 159, italics added). (For a full critique of the major problems of their 
argument, see: Gary Phillips, "Apologetics and Inerrancy: An Analysis of 
Select Axiopistic Models" [Th.D. diss., Grace Theological Seminary, 1985].) 
Practically speaking, apologetical finesse is exalted to the place of assisting 
the sovereign Spirit via a pre-Testimonium: "There is no circle here because 
when the Word testifies to the Spirit it has already been established as the 
Word of God by apologetics" (p. 141). For a presuppositional approach see 
James M. Grier, "The Apologetic Value of the Self- Witness of Scripture," 
GTJ\ (1980)71-76. 

Their whole argument is doomed to failure because of their hamarti- 
ologically naive first premise: "It is virtually granted that the Bible (not 
assumed to be inspired) contains generally reliable history" (p. 141, italics 
added). Then they put forth an apologetical task of sheer frustration: "To 
those outside the church, the case for basic reliability must be made" (p. 142). 
To this is added their argumentation concerning miracles: "From an un- 
inspired Bible we are arguing for miracles, and from miracles we are arguing 
for an inspired Bible" (p. 144). This they assure the reader is not arguing in 
that ever-dreaded circle. From their perspective (and ours, i.e., the Christian's 
Weltanschauung) the conclusions flow quite naturally: 

The biblical miracles need to be considered on their own merits. Their 
impossibility, or even improbability, has never been demonstrated. We have 
positive evidence for their occurrence. The reasonable person [italics added] will 
believe that they occurred as recorded. . . . But if our argument is sound, then 
rational and honest people [italics added] must not only believe that the Bible so 
teaches but they must also believe what the Bible teaches [pp. 152, 153]. 

But where are these "reasonable," "rational and honest people" to be 
found "outside the church?" Outside of Christ are only those who are actively 
hostile in their minds to the things of God (cf. ovxag . . . ex^povc, xrj 5iavoia 
in Col 1:21; etc.). Not only is this problem found outside the flock but it 
often plagues the sheep of the fold (contra some of the authors' unqualified 
assertions on pp. 140-41, etc.). Even after the disciples witnessed incon- 
testable miracles they still demonstrated symptoms of 'heart trouble' (e.g., 
Mark 6:51-52); after they had received intensive instruction on the resur- 
rection (e.g., Mark 8:31ff.), they still refused to receive the testimony of the 
witnesses (cf. Luke 24:1-//). They just were not very reasonable! 

The relationship of "the Spirit, the Word, and the Church" is briefly 
surveyed in chap. 9. Some positive contributions include their discussions of 
the pneumatological significance of Pentecost (p. 165), the statement about 
predestination as it relates to apologetics (p. 167), and the acknowledgement 
that Christ's testimony to the Word of God is ultimate (pp. 177-78). How- 
ever, once again, it is apparent that the second and third of these observations 
never become apologetically determinative for the authors. 

At the outset there is a slight contradiction concerning the Spirit's testi- 
mony to Messiah (cf. pp. 162-63). There are, however, more significant 


hermeneutical and theological problems either in the chapter or as it relates 
to the rest of the volume. For example, John 14:26 is inappropriately used 
to support a g^e^era/ testimonium (pp. 166, 168). John 14:26, 15:26-27, and 
16:13 undoubtedly have a special application to the apostles. Similarly, 
1 Cor 2:9 is used initially without qualification (p. 167); however, later some 
important observations provide clarification (p. 171). The biggest disappoint- 
ment of the chapter concerns those pneumatological truths which are prac- 
tically forgotten or rendered impotent in the subsequent development of their 
apologetical methodology. The authors themselves state, "We know persua- 
sion is not by apologetic might, nor rational power [and yet compare the 
contents and critique of their last chapter!], but by the Spirit of the Lord. . . . 
The Spirit of God testifies to the Word of God" (pp. 167, 178). However, 
these statements are contradicted by their assertions in the previous chapter 
(see the comments above). 

Chap. 10 (i.e., "An Outline of Presuppositional Apologetics") introduces 
the major points of tension between historical verificationalism and pre- 
suppositionalism. Several observations based upon this chapter have already 
been made in the general portion of this critique. But let me state two further 
observations. First, the authors express their aversion to circular argumenta- 
tion (p. 188). However, they ignore the larger philosophical problem of the 
universal necessity of beginning with nondemonstrable assumptions. Second, 
they express their concern that presuppositionalism represents a departure 
from Reformed theology (p. 184). However, departures from orthodoxy are 
conspicuously related to verificationalist preoccupations. 

Chap. 1 1 is characterized by overstatements, understatements, and even 
by non-statements. It is best to explain this last criticism first. In a historical 
survey of traditional apologetics it is interesting to note the conspicuous 
absence of Aquinas and the Romanist core of this tradition. Rather the 
authors apparently choose to become carefully selective namedroppers as 
reflected in their chapter title, "General Apologetic Tradition on Reason and 
Faith: Augustine, Luther, and Calvin." 

Their survey of the evidence from Augustine seems to be well balanced 
(cf. pp. 189-96). Faith and reason do not appear to be mutually exclusive for 
Augustine; nevertheless, it is obvious that he put things into perspective 
through a sound hamartiology (cf. pp. 193-94). 

The too brief discussion on Luther and reason (pp. 196-98) opens with 
one of those aforementioned understatements: "Martin Luther is notorious 
for his opposition to reason" (p. 196). Modification of that observation is 
suggested but not supported by primary sources. Their reliance upon one 
secondary source (i.e., B. A. Gerrish, Grace and Reason) leaves the reader 

Another understatement introduces the section entitled "Calvin and 
Reason" (pp. 198-208): "There has been considerable debate about the nature 
of Calvin's position on the knowledge of God" (p. 198). An essentially credible 
survey ensures. However, it is doubtful that Calvin really "regarded" the 
theistic arguments "as compelling" (p. 203) or that he "regarded evidence as a 
foundation for faith" (p. 206). In the context of Calvin's overall theology, 
these appear to be overstatements on the part of the authors. 

zemek: classical apologetics 119 

As has been previously acknowledged Sproul, Gerstner, and Lindsley 
have not only pointed out some verifiable inconsistencies in Van Til's episte- 
mology, etc., but they have also distorted some of the essentials of his presenta- 
tion as used to exemplify presuppositionalism. Chap. 12, "The Starting Point: 
Primacy of the Intellect and Autonomy," may be used to illustrate this point. 
Some examples of fair evaluation occur sporadically on pp. 212, 223, and 
231-33. However, these are overshadowed by misconceptions, unfair evalua- 
tions, and invalid conclusions based upon distorted and/ or false assumptions. 
Often these occur amidst or at the end of some credible critiques. For ex- 
ample, after a few quotations from Van Til in which he genuinely acknowl- 
edges the noetic effects of sin, the authors caricature his position with the 
following words: "Human reason, which is a God-given instrument for truth 
[i.e., their presupposition which is never substantiated via exegetical theol- 
ogy], has become an instrument leading to error. In that case, human mental 
faculties (not only holiness) have been eradicated by the Fall" (p. 213, italics 
added). No presuppositionalist, including Van Til, would have have argued 
that way. The authors flagrantly deny any noetic effects of the Fall, and 
furthermore boldly assert that "this is theological error, as well as an apolo- 
getic fatality. Van Til has not answered his critics because, believing as he 
does, he cannot" (p. 213). From the tenor of Van Til's total presentation and 
from the meager exegetical correctives mentioned in this critique, it seems 
obvious that they are the ones who are errant theologically. But it must be 
remembered that for them theology is apparently subservient to apologetics! 

In another place they interact with secondary sources (e.g, p. 216) and 
conclude that presuppositionalists are hyper-Calvinistic (p. 217). Rather than 
proceeding down this avenue and utilizing their construct of 'Reformation 
theology' as the ultimate yardstick, one wishes they would consider in a 
profound way the exegetical and apologetical implications of passages such 
as 1 Cor 2:14. Selective allusions to 1 Cor 2:14a will not do (cf. pp. 216-18, 
passim), and besides, reflection upon the impact of the whole verse might 
have kept them from making embarrassing statements like the following: "If 
the unregenerate do not 'see' it, it is only because they will not, not because 
they cannot" (p. 218, please note the italics are theirs). Note especially what 
the last part of 1 Cor 2:14 says: "But a natural man does not accept the things 
of the Spirit of God; for they are foolishness to him, and he cannot under- 
stand them (Kai ou Suvaxai yvwvav), because they are spiritually appraised" 
(1 Cor 2:14)! Besides this straightforth assertion, the Spirit in other places 
reminds us that noetic inability is all the more complicated by Satanic blind- 
ness (e.g., 2 Cor A:2>-4). 

On the crucial issue of autonomy, the authors accurately note Van Til's 
key contribution: "Van Til thus rejects any element of neutrality in the non- 
Christian mind" (p. 232). What surfaces in this portion (pp. 231-40) are two 
definitions of autonomy: one derived philosophically and methodologically 
(i.e., theirs) and the other derived theologically (Van Til's). Therefore, they 
argue from their definitional benchmark that "given Van Til's notion of 
autonomy, it is agreed that autonomous humanity cannot accept any higher 
authority. As we have shown repeatedly [i.e., via philosophical and method- 
ological extrapolation], however, that is not a proper usage of autonomy" 


(p. 234). We are seemingly confronted with a presuppositional deadlock in 
reference to an apologetically strategic definition; however, the concept which 
is based upon a biblical hamartiology is surely the acceptable one. 

Now comes the Achilles' heel of the volume, chap. 13, "The Noetic 
Influence of Sin." Actually, their approach to this issue was unveiled in 
chap. 12; therefore, it would seem that this chapter is basically a summary- 
conclusion of a position which has already been delineated. Consequently, a 
detailed critique would be redundant. Interestingly, the authors note at the 
outset that "the subject we now consider— the presuppositionalist view of 
noetic influence of sin — is supposed to show why the nonpresuppositionalist 
errs" (p. 241). Although the authors fail to concede this, indeed it does; it is 
their Achilles' heel! 

Once again at a strategic juncture scriptural exegesis is notably absent. 
Instead their defense commences with a section entitled "Classic Calvinists on 
the Noetic Influence of Sin" (pp. 241-43). Additionally, a retreat to the false 
anthropological dichotomy of "heart" and "mind" recurs: "We suggest that 
classic Reformed orthodoxy saw the noetic influence of sin not as direct 
through a totally depraved mind, but as indirect through the totally depraved 
heart" (p. 243). Selectively utilizing the data of Romans 1, the authors resist 
acknowledging the epistemological paradox of mankind's having knowledge 
in one sense and yet not having it in another. Nevertheless, they seem to feel 
quite comfortable in saying that mankind's mind is not reprobate; however, 
God has judicially delivered the race over to a reprobate mind (p. 244). 
Arguing practically, as they have done on occasion, is not applied herein, and 
a consistent hamartiology is not evident. 

Chap. 15 (i.e., "The Attack on the Theistic Proofs") perpetuates the 
same line of argumentation as the two previous chapters but with a growing 
boldness — man's mind, apparently unscathed by the Fall, becomes an impar- 
tial judge (cf. pp. 257-58). This new boldness apparently feeds an invigorated 
vitriolic criticism of Van Til and other presuppositionalists. Guilt by associa- 
tion arguments abound with only a few disclaimers (cf., e.g., "Presupposi- 
tionalism's Agreement with Neo-Orthodoxy," pp. 253-59). Their conception 
of "Calvinistic tradition" is again brought in as the ultimate canon (pp. 256- 
57), and their ubiquitous dichotomy of "mind" and "heart" is coregent (pp. 257- 
58). Concerning this latter observation, the authors' boldness reaches an un- 
abashed level when they accuse Rushdoony of "surreptitiously" confusing 
these key anthropological terms! He may be culpable, but their own confusion 
is much more dramatically obvious. 

The last portion of this chapter is launched with the following castiga- 
tion: "Having observed presuppositionalism's agreement on the theistic proofs 
(Van Til's in particular) with contemporary neo-orthodoxy and secularism, 
we will now observe its disagreement with traditional orthodoxy" (p. 259). It 
is in this portion that some of Van Til's inconsistencies (a few of which are 
justifiable in the light of Scriptural data) are manipulated and caricatured in 
a critique which reaches its ebb (cf. esp. p. 263). 

As a point of order, this reviewer and many other presuppositionalists 
would strongly disagree with the authors' statement that Clark is "perhaps 
the most thoroughgoing presuppositionalist of them all" (p. 265; cf. their own 
delayed disclaimer on p. 334). In their subsequent discussion an important 

zemek: classical apologetics 121 

concession surfaces: "It is true that people do not acquiesce in the God of 
natural revelation until they are illumined by the God of special revelation. 
But saying that there is no acquiescence in natural revelation apart from 
special revelation does not deny natural revelation" (p. 268). Quite true, but it 
does deny any apologetical compulsion inherent in a natural theology, con- 
trary to previous suggestions by the authors. 

A topic introduced in chap. 14 is summarized in chap. 15 — "The Attack 
on Christian Evidences." Two different assumptions clash again in this chapter: 

Supposedly, the Bible is the foundation of Van Til's thought. Actually, it is 
the foundation of the foundation. For what is crucial is not merely the Bible, 
but the way by which Van Til comes to the Bible. He claims a sound approach 
to the Bible; we think he has an unsound approach to the Bible [p. 277]. 

The authors' assumptions will never change unless they allow apologetics to 
become subservient to theology. Since they do not, they castigate Van Til's 
severe restrictions of Christian evidences: "For Van Til, the resurrection of 
Jesus Christ (which he believes fervently and preaches vigorously) proves 
absolutely nothing" (p. 283). It should be remembered that not only pre- 
suppositionalists object to unqualified evidentialism but so do many verifica- 
tionalists (i.e., the compromisers). Failing to recognize any limitation in 
reference to Christian evidences, the authors are compelled to substitute a 
strained and unconvincing argument (pp. 283-86). 

The chapter concludes with Sproul, Gerstner, and Lindsley's most iron- 
ical critique which pertains to the absolutely vital issue of inerrancy. Pre- 
suppositionalism is not to be blamed for the darkening ecHpse of inerrancy as 
they postulate. Rather the growing preoccupation with evidentialism is darken- 
ing the bibliological horizon. Contemporary historical corroborations of 
bibliological erosion come through institutional (e.g.. Fuller Seminary) and 
personal (e.g., Pinnock) examples. Speaking from the perspective of human 
responsibility, the greatest sustainer of inerrancy is a humble-minded apolo- 
getic thoroughly dominated by the Word and the Spirit. 

An allergy of the authors to anything paradoxical lies at the heart of 
their critique of presuppositionalism in chap. 16. Characteristically, they lead 
off with a sensationalistic statement concerning presuppositionalism. In this 
context it is its tenet of "the self-attesting God": "It makes Karl Barth look 
like the champion of 'system' and Emil Brunner the most consistent of 
theologians" (p. 287). They unfortunately illustrate their objections first 
through a discussion which has historically evolved beyond the exegetical 
data (i.e., the lapsarian controversy, pp. 287-91). With the exception of their 
valid criticism of Van Til's holding that Adam "was created only posse pec- 
care" (p. 289), the rest of their objections are suspect due to misinterpreta- 
tions of Van Til and/ or the biblical data. For example, it is apparent that 
they interpret Van Til's reference to "'the sovereign grace of God freely 
proclaimed'" as "mere arbitrary grace" (p. 288). One might ask who is now 
bearing the earmarks of hyper-Calvinism? Similarly, they assert, "Of course, 
reprobation is a decree of God, as truly and therefore as ultimately as elec- 
tion" (p. 288). Not one exegetical insight is offered from Romans 9 nor from 
anywhere else, however. The primary irritant responsible for their allergy is 


their failure to accept the practical implications of passages like Isa 55:8-9 
and Rom 1 1:33. Instead, they leave the impression that they have thoroughly 
integrated the biblical data and so conclude that "Divine 'control' and sig- 
nificant human choices hardly constitute a rational difficulty or apparent 
contradiction, not to mention paradox" (p. 291). There is an apparent soften- 
ing at the end of the chapter (p. 295); however, it indeed is only apparent 
when couched in the context of their whole argument. 

Due to the hamartiological concessions which have permeated their 
whole treatise, chap. 17's discussion of "the internal testimony of the Holy 
Spirit" is anemic. It does begin, however, with a very accurate critique: "The 
testimony of the Holy Spirit is the heart of the heart of presuppositionalism" 
(p. 296). As one might anticipate by now, the authors' subsequent evaluation 
of this crucial constituent comes via their conception of "traditional Reformed 
doctrine" (pp. 296-98). Besides another appeal to the alleged heart/ mind 
dichotomy as popularized by Edwards, the substance of their argumentation 
may be summarized in their appeal to Owen: "We allow, then, that every man 
with reason and understanding and having the regular use of them, may, 
without the saving agency of the Holy Spirit, according to the measure of his 
ability, find out the true sense of these propositions and retain their meaning" 
(p. 297). Unfortunately, the authors have emphasized the wrong portion of 
Owen's quotation. Rather, the words "according to the measure of his ability" 
ought to have been emphasized and evaluated by Scripture and even by 
"traditional Reformed doctrine." Then the measurement of that abihty accord- 
ing to both of these yardsticks would total zero. This too abbreviated chapter 
concludes with a critique of Frame and Dooyeweerd. Their critique of Frame 
is defensive and borders on being tactless by any standard (pp. 299-303). 

A previously discussed topic is reintroduced as the primary subject matter 
of chap. 18 (i.e., "Presuppositionalism and Verification"). Once again, an 
accurate critique introduces their discussion: "Verification is the hallmark of 
evidentialism and the antithesis of presuppositionalism. One tradition says 
that seeing is believing; the other, believing is seeing" (p. 304). Almost every 
other construct of presuppositionalism's stance in this chapter is accurate (cf., 
e.g., the conclusions relating to Bahnsen on p. 309); however, the authors will 
have nothing to do with presuppositionaUsm's scripturally corroborated reser- 
vations concerning evidences. In actuality, Sproul, Gerstner, and Lindsley are 
at times much more devoted to apriorism than most presuppositionalists. 
This becomes obvious when they make sensationalistic comments such as 
this: "We agree with the inerrancy doctrine of Van Til and Notaro, but we 
have more respect for the augmentation effort of Pinnock, Jack Rogers, and 
Barth, despite their unsound reasoning. The presuppositionalists arrive at a 
sound conclusion by a wrong method, the others, at an unsound conclusion 
by a right method" (p. 307). It has already been suggested that such axiopistic 
preoccupations have characterized contemporary departures from orthodox 

Chap. 19 (i.e., "Analogical Thinking") is a generally commendable evalua- 
tion of Van Tillian epistemological transcendence. Many incontestable evalua- 
tions surface; for example, "if God can say that finite knowledge is knowledge, 
then Van Til can never say that finite knowledge is not knowledge" (p. 315). 

zemek: classical apologetics 123 

Also found in this brief chapter is the first disclaimer that Van Til came out 
of the same mold of epistemological nihilism as Kant (p. 313). 

The volume concludes (i.e., chap. 20) with severe criticisms of "Circular 
Reasoning." Their modus operandi does not change in this last chapter (e.g., 
commencing with a section on "Reasoning in the Reformed Tradition"). 
However, their opening evaluation of presuppositionalism is not as credible 
as some of the previous ones: "In all systems of thought except presupposi- 
tionalism circular reasoning is considered demonstrative evidence of error. In 
presuppositionalism, instead of being a vicious circle, it is a sign of intellectual 
virtue" (p. 318). Their first sentence is suspect because many logicians obvi- 
ously acknowledge the 'necessary evil' of commencing with nonverifiable 
assumptions, and for them it does not necessitate the presence of logical 
error. The second sentence needs to be amended in order to make it an 
acceptable assessment; it would be more accurate if the words "a sign of 
intellectual virtue" were changed to "a sign of theological virtue." 

To the authors the unpardonable sin of presuppositionalists in this most 
crucial area is petitio principii: "With respect to the existence of God and the 
authority of the Bible, presuppositionalists frankly admit to the use of circular 
reasoning in precisely this sense" (p. 322). But the authors are just as guilty, 
although they vigorously but futilely strain to deny it (e.g., p. 323). In a 
section on "Rushdoony on Circular Reasoning" there is a statement which 
boomerangs on the authors, indicating that it is really Warfield's emperor 
who has no clothes (contra their accusation directed at presuppositionalists, 
p. 338): 

As soon as the reason realizes that there is a God, it immediately yields 
itself to that God, and honors Him as the author of itself, unless the reasoner 
has a vested interest in suppressing this information, as sinful people do have. 
We are not arguing whether this approach of Warfield and the others is success- 
ful or not. We know that Rushdoony and others do not think that it is. We 
believe that they are wrong. We believe that Warfield is right (p. 327, italics 

After having refused to accept the awesome hamartiological implications of a 
biblically exposed autonomy, the authors ultimately have proved themselves 
to be more fideistic than most presuppositionalists when it comes to their 
own system. Sproul, Gerstner, and Lindsley's whole system deviates at this 
crucial hamartiological juncture as is evident in their concluding appeal to 
Henry's appraisal. He and they assert that "presuppositionalist theology . . . 
'exaggerates the noetic consequences of the fall of man'" (p. 337). Unfor- 
tunately, it is they who have minimized these consequences! 


Exegetical Fallacies, by D. A. Carson. Grand Rapids: Baker, 1984. Pp. 153. 

The latest effort from the prolific pen of D. A. Carson of Trinity 
Evangelical Divinity School would seem destined to become required reading 
in seminary hermeneutics classes. It is essential reading for the pastor-exegete. 
Exegetical Fallacies is a searching and revealing examination of the misuse of 
various exegetical and hermeneutical principles. Carson states that the book 
"focuses on the practitioner" (p. 22). Under four major headings (Word 
Study Fallacies, Grammatical Fallacies, Logical Fallacies, and Presupposi- 
tional and Historical Fallacies) he explodes forty-eight different myths regard- 
ing "proper exegesis" and then adds an additional six in the concluding 
chapter. A study like this can be intimidating (Carson acknowledges this 
in his lengthy introduction), but honest exegetes should consider each of 
Carson's warnings and should heed most of them. 

Carson's treatment of the various fallacies is not always evenhanded. 
One cause of this may have been the pressure of deadlines (p. 10). Some of 
the "exploded fallacies" receive thorough exploration and adequate corrective 
explanation. In other cases, a problem is simply noted but little or no solution 
is offered. One example of this can be found in Carson's discussion of 
"Improperly Handled Syllogisms," in which he cites examples of how bad 
logic can lead to incorrect conclusions, especially in the areas of culturally 
limited teaching. After exposing the problem, he states, "I believe there 
are some guidelines that can help us distinguish between the range of 
applicability . . . ; but I had better not embark on that sort of discussion 
here" (p. 82). It serves little purpose to expose an error if not even a hint of 
the correct approach to the problem is given. Again, he speaks of R. C. 
Trench's Synonyms of the New Testament as lacking legitimate basis in 
linguistics, but does not explain how this is so (p. 54). Finally, he mentions a 
misapplication of the Granville-Sharp rule by critical scholars (p. 85) but 
gives no bibliographical information about further discussion of the problem. 

These examples of insufficient treatment are balanced by a few instances 
of overkill. Carson takes Charles Smith to task in regard to Smith's article on 
"Errant Aorist Interpreters," {GTJ 2 [1981] 205-26). He chides Smith for 
being "linguistically naive" (p. 73) and for "throwing the baby out with the 
bath water" (p. 74). Yet Carson's conclusion seems to be exactly what Smith 
attempts to say in his article. The tense of the aorist makes no determination 
at all about the sense of its use. Rather, it is solely a contextual determination. 

Two other shortcomings can be mentioned. Several terms, such as "ex- 
cluded middle" (pp. 94, 107) and "components of meaning," "referential 
meaning," and "synonomy" (pp. 48-54) are used with no explanation of their 
meanings. This assumes acquaintance with these terms and their significance 
which may be beyond many readers. This points out the necessity of previous 


hermeneutical training as a prerequisite for an adequate comprehension of 
this book. Finally, there are two misspelled Hebrew words (pp. 28-29). 

Leaving the shortcomings and advancing to the strengths of the book, 
many things could be said. A few examples will suffice: Carson stresses the 
important concept of "distantiation" (pp. 20ff., 106), which necessitates the 
efforts of the exegete to fill the cultural gap between first century Palestine 
and twentieth century America. He explodes the theory that the Hebrew 
language somehow restricted Hebrew thought while Greek allowed a freedom 
of expression not available in the Hebrew language (pp. 44-45). He refutes 
the propensity of exegetes to assign "technical term" status to theologically 
important words (p. 47). He discusses the "one meaning for a text" principle 
and uses a personal illustration to contrast this with the intuitive "the Lord 
showed me" approach to interpretation (p. 13). Carson provides insight into 
the usefulness of diachronic word studies (p. 53) but also shows the fallacy of 
certain types of etymological studies. By relying heavily upon Barr's The 
Semantics of Biblical Language and Silva's Biblical Words and their Mean- 
ings, he shows the futility of "illegitimate totality transfer" under the headings 
of "semantic anachronism" and "semantic obsolescence" (pp. 32-36). 

Exegetical Fallacies should be a required textbook for seminary her- 
meneutics classes. The questions Carson has raised about long-cherished 
methods could be explored more fully in a sequel. Carson has opened 
Pandora's box and much discussion should ensue. Exegetical Fallacies is well 
written, easy to read and thought provoking. It is highly recommended to all 
who truly desire to handle accurately the word of truth (2 Tim 2:15). 

Jeff Guimont 
Grace Brethren Church, Flora, IN 

The Israel of God in Prophecy: Principles of Prophetic Interpretation, by 
Hans K. LaRondelle. Andrews University Monographs, Studies in Religion, 
Volume 13. Berrien Springs: Andrews University, 1983. Pp. xiv + 226. $9.95. 

The author of this major critique of dispensationalism is professor of 
theology at Andrews University Theological Seminary (Th.D., Reformed Free 
University, Amsterdam). Though the book contains serious misconceptions 
and other weaknesses, it scores several direct hits upon inarticulate dispensa- 
tionalists. Accordingly, dispensationalists should take note of this fervent 
polemic for the Church as the fulfillment of the OT promises to Israel. 

The twelve major chapters address such themes as the Christocentric 
focus of the Bible; the NT as the key to the OT; literal, typological, and 
allegorical interpretation; the Church as the continuation of the remnant of 
Israel; Romans 9-11 and other problematic texts; the 70 weeks of Daniel; 
and the future tribulation for the Church. The book is produced well, with 
such helpful features as a glossary, lists of abbreviations, bibliography, and 
index of biblical references. Only a few minor typographical errors occur 
(perhaps it should be mentioned that Congressional Quarterly [p. 57, n. 29] 
should be Congregational Quarterly., also Concordia [p. 78, n. 5] should be 
Concordia Theological Monthly). 


Among the weaknesses of the book is the repeated equivocation on such 
crucial hermeneutical terms as interpretation, reinterpretation, appUcation, 
typological interpretation, typological application, spiritualization, meaning, 
fuller meaning, significance, christological interpretation, and ecclesiological 
application. Though the author realizes the need to employ theological terms 
precisely (p. 23), he does not maintain a valid distinction between meaning 
and significance (as articulated by E. D. Hirsch and popularized in evangelical 
circles by W. C. Kaiser). This problem was highlighted in the dialogue between 
G. E. Ladd and H. A. Hoyt in The Meaning of the Millennium (InterVarsity, 
1977). What Ladd called "reinterpretation" Hoyt viewed as "application." 
There is a profound difference here because "reinterpretation" implies a change 
of the original meaning while "application" implies a new significance of an 
unchanged original meaning. The ramifications of all this for the Israel/ 
Church distinction and the relationship of the NT to the OT are obvious. 
Additional hermeneutical difficulties are caused by LaRondelle's mixture of 
polemics and hermeneutics and his apparent view that the NT uniformly 
approaches the OT and thus intends to teach a uniform hermeneutical system 
(see W. Van Gemeren, WTJ Al [1985] 112). 

Another major problem with the book is its misrepresentations of dispen- 
sationalism. The author repeatedly cites the views of individual dispensa- 
tionalists and then states that dispensationalism as a whole holds these views. 
The Scofield Reference Bible (p. 29) and the New Scofield Reference Bible 
(p. 156) are described as representing the "official dispensational position." 
Though these two publications are probably unsurpassed in popularizing 
dispensationalism, nevertheless it should be recognized that no universally 
acknowledged "official" dispensational position exists. Further, responsible 
dispensationalists do not teach that the future salvation of Israel will be 
accomplished by political events apart from faith, as the author implies (pp. ix, 
128-29, 162; cf. similarly A. Hanson, ExpTim 95 [1985] 283). Most dispensa- 
tionalists today do not believe that they are "forced to project two different 
new covenants into one and the same prophecy of Scripture" (p. 117). Nor do 
dispensationalists base their system upon the assumption that "prophecy is 
nothing but history ahead of time" (p. 141). Nor do credible dispensationalists 
teach that the Church is "a solution for an emergency situation" (p. 113). 
Many dispensationalists do not hold to a separate "Palestinian Covenant" 
(p. 135). In his discussion of Gal 6: 16 LaRondelle asserts that the view that "the 
Israel of God" describes Jewish Christians, not the whole Church, is "dispensa- 
tional exegesis" (pp. 108-11). However, E. D. Burton (Galatians, ICC, p. 358) 
and many other nondispensationalists hold this view. Other problems in this 
area could be mentioned but these examples suffice to show that LaRondelle's 
argument is plagued by hasty generalizations (cf. John Paulien, AUSS 22 
[1984] 375). 

As mentioned before, however, LaRondelle does manage to show the 
untenability of certain arguments by individual dispensationalists. Here dis- 
pensationalists can take heed and profit from the book. Among his most 
important criticisms is the expose of the inconsistent literalism of some 
dispensationalists, notably C. I. Scofield, who permit the allegorizing of 
narrative while insisting that prophecy be taken literally (pp. 28-31). Similarly, 


LaRondelle is correct that dispensationalists have largely ignored the NT 
application of OT principles to the Church (pp. 48-52). Another telling section 
titled "The Unity of Biblical Eschatology" (pp. 138-40) concludes that "basi- 
cally one eschatology binds Israel and the Church together." Dispensationalists 
do need to deal more carefully with the one olive tree of Romans 1 1 and the 
one spiritual temple of Ephesians 2 (p. 210). 

However, I believe that dispensationalism has the best tools to articulate 
properly this biblical unity. In LaRondelle's approach Israel seems to coalesce 
into the Church's olive tree. Similarly, Israel seems to be estranged from the 
Church's covenants of promise. If I read Paul correctly, however, LaRondelle 
has reversed the biblical priority. It is the Church which by sovereign grace 
partakes of Israel's covenants, and it is the Church which is mercifully grafted 
contrary to nature into the Israelite olive tree. And, as even LaRondelle 
acknowledges (pp. 126-27), God is able to graft Israel back in again. Thus 
the difference between LaRondelle and dispensationalism is really not the 
essential continuity of Israel and the Church. Both LaRondelle and dispen- 
sationalists have ways of articulating this biblical truth (though dispensa- 
tionalists have often minimized it). Rather the difference centers upon the 
meaning and significance of God's original covenant promises to his people 
in the OT. Dispensationalists do not believe that the Church's sharing in the 
blessings of these covenants exhausts their fulfillment. Rather the original 
promise of God to His people Israel will still be fulfilled upon the earth. 

This of course brings us again to hermeneutics. LaRondelle claims that 
his approach follows "the inductive principle of the analogy of Scripture" 
(p. 3). He views exegesis as applying the principles of hermeneutics (p. 7). He 
believes that the immediate context is important in doing exegesis, both in 
historical reconstruction (p. 2) and in determining word meanings (pp. 124- 
25). However, it seems to me that LaRondelle's "NT reinterprets OT" herme- 
neutic vitiates the priority of the immediate context. His approach is not 
totally inductive because he leaps too quickly to the remote context of the NT 
when interpreting the OT. He assumes too readily that NT application of OT 
truths to the Church renders void the OT promises to national Israel. Here it 
seems evident that the inevitable circularity of theological systems has over- 
come LaRondelle's hoped-for inductivity. The organic unity of Scripture, so 
important in W. C. Kaiser's "analogy of antecedent scripture" approach, is 
too readily explained by a sensus plenior in which the plain meaning of the 
OT is "reinterpreted" (changed) by the NT. In my view, this is not the way to 
articulate the genuine progress of relevation found in Scripture. 

To conclude, though LaRondelle may misrepresent dispensationalism at 
times, he does call upon dispensationalism to articulate accurately the unity 
of the Bible. Dispensationalists should ignore the misrepresentations and 
focus upon the central issue of the continuity of Scripture which LaRondelle 
ably emphasizes. Hopefully, dispensational responses will be somewhat less 
polemical in spirit. I have spoken more fully to some of these issues in "The 
Continuity of Scripture and Eschatology: Key Hermeneutical Issues" GTJ 6 
(1985) 275-87. 

David L. Turner 
Grace Theological Seminary 


Psalms 101-150, by Leslie C. Allen. Word Biblical Commentary. Waco: 
Word Books, 1983. Pp. xx + 342. $18.95. 

The third and the final volume on the Psalms in the Word Biblical 
Commentary comes from the pen of a capable OT professor at Fuller Theo- 
logical Seminary. The format of the commentary follows the standard for this 
series except that Allen includes his notes and comments under one heading. 
The commentary displays the series' usual high commitment to contemporary 
scholarship. Allen has provided not only extensive bibliographies for the 
Psalms in general but has interacted well with his sources. 

A positive aspect of the commentary is that the author regularly discusses 
the uses of given Psalms in the NT. Dispensationalists may not always be 
pleased with the result, however. For example in the case of Psalm 105, Allen 

Unlike Judaism, Christianity turns its back upon a geographically and 
politically localized promise. The motif of the land is generally superseded, in 
the NT, apart perhaps from Luke 21:24. Christ is the inheritance: kinship in the 
land is replaced by fellowship in Christ (cf. Gal. 3:18). The Letter to the Hebrews 
seeks to justify this Christian shift in theological emphasis since it transcends the 
older hope with a new dimension. The promise to Abraham was not exhausted 
by Israel's temporal occupation of the land. Canaan was a shadow of the reality, 
which is a heavenly country destined to be the final home of God's people of the 
covenants old and new (Heb. 3:7-4:1; 11:13-16, 39, 40) [p. 44]. 

Likewise, many may disapprove of his handling of traditionally Messianic 
psalms, such as Psalm 102 "which the NT takes up and transmutes" (p. 16). 
Another case is Psalm 110 which Allen takes as written on the occasion of 
David's capture of Jerusalem and accession to the Jebusite throne (p. 86), but 
which "broaches themes which powerfully overshadow the Israelite king and 
enfold him in their massive embrace" (p. 87), so that ultimately the psalm 
became fully applied by Jesus (and the apostles) to his messianic mission. 
Similarly, Psalm 118 "like other royal psalms . . . came to be imbued with 
messianic import" (p. 125). 

Allen calls the reader's attention to the general introduction found in the 
first volume written by P. C. Craigie (see the review in GTJ 5 [1984] 292-94), 
and, accordingly, contributes only a short section dealing with the chrono- 
logical arrangement of Psalms 101-50. However, his suggestions as to the 
thematic order of the Psalms are extremely helpful. Thus, the position of 
Psalm 101 seems to be a random selection in order, but Psalm 102 appears 
close to Psalms 95-100 because it shares with them "the common motif of 
Yahweh's rule" (p. xx). Psalms 103 and 104, with their identical beginnings, 
anticipate the hymnic character of Psalms 105-7. Building upon them is a 
Davidic collection. Psalms 108-10, which in turn is followed by two groups 
of praise psalms, Psalms 111-12, and 113-18. All of the above were appar- 
ently climaxed by a psalm speaking of the Torah, Psalm 119. The Songs of 
Ascents (Psalms 120-34) are given special attention by Allen in an excursus 
that "investigates the nature and purpose of this collection" (p. xix; cL 
pp. 219-21). Psalms 135-37 appear to be a supplement to the Songs of 
Ascents, and Psalms 138-45 are considered to be a short Davidic corpus. 


Psalms 146-50 are placed last to bring the Psalter to a close with praise to 
Yahweh, the last of which "appears to serve as a doxology to the fifth book 
of the Psalter (Pss 107-50) and to the Psalter as a whole" (p. xix). 

Each psalm is given critical attention. Allen's notes /comments sections 
are detailed investigations of the problems relative to the text. Allen's discus- 
sions of form, structure, and setting show him at his best, as he wrestles with 
the problems of literary analysis. Both sections are followed by a discussion 
called "Explanation," an interpretation of the text with application to or 
anticipation of NT revelation. A very detailed "Index of Bibhcal Texts" 
(including the OT, Apocrypha, Qumran, and the NT) closes the book. 

It is evident that Allen's work is a serious contribution to biblical studies. 
One may at times find fault with Allen's translation and the critical points of 
Hebrew grammar behind it (e.g., his emendation of the text of Psalm 118:13 
rather than dealing with the problem as a simple matter of enallage). One 
may tire of his preoccupation with literary sources and his attention to minute 
details relative to literary considerations (e.g., Psalm 132, pp. 204-9). One 
may disagree occasionally with Allen's interpretations (e.g., his commitment 
to a "Deuteronomic" tradition and his late dating of Joel, pp. 52-53). 
Nevertheless, Allen must be credited for his careful scholarship. Serious OT 
students will welcome his work as a valuable reference tool. 

Richard D. Patterson 
Liberty Baptist College 

The Forms of Old Testament Literature. Vol. 1, Genesis with an Introduction 
to Narrative Literature, by George W. Coats. Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1983. 
Pp. 322. $21.95. Paper. 

Under the editorship of Rolf Knierim and Gene M. Tucker, Eerdmans 
has undertaken a most ambitious project, the form-critical analysis of each 
unit in every book of the OT. The volumes will follow a format which 
examines the structure, genre, setting, and intention of each pericope, and 
includes a bibliography. George W. Coats, Professor of OT at Lexington 
Theological Seminary, has offered one of the first examples of this new series 
in his Genesis with an Introduction to Narrative Literature. 

Coats has the well-defined goal of examining each unit in Genesis form 
critically, a goal which he follows consistently. The commentary deals with 
relatively few exegetical details. The bibliographies are also oriented toward 
form criticism. Though Coats does not reproduce the biblical text, he does 
include outlines of each passage. 

One major objective of the FOTL series is "to bring consistency to the 
terminology for the genres and formulas of the biblical literature." The com- 
mentary begins with a helpful discussion of the various narrative genres and 
also includes a glossary. Consequently the reader is not left to himself to 
determine how Coats is using a particular term. Such clarity should be appre- 
ciated by all, especially by those who are not conversant with form-critical 


Coats' single-minded devotion to form-critical pursuits is both the great- 
est strength and the greatest weakness of Genesis. Coats endeavors to analyze 
the form of every passage in Genesis, which is no mean feat! However, Coats 
labors only to apply form-critical principles to the text. He never seeks to 
justify the approach. Limits of space and time notwithstanding, somewhere 
Coats must establish the validity of form criticism to narrative. 

Over the past generation a virtual consensus has emerged concerning the 
fruitfulness of form-critical study of biblical literature which was written in 
self-contained units, such as Psalms and Proverbs. No such consensus, how- 
ever, exists today about either the benefit or the propriety of applying form- 
critical methodology to biblical narrative. Laying aside the question of who 
organized the narrative, the fact is someone did. When individual passages 
are organized to make a point, can or should form criticism be utilized? 
When a book contains a carefully developed argument, is it advisable to 
conjecture about the individual components of the work? Admittedly, Coats' 
work represents a major form-critical study, but is his major premise correct? 
These searching questions must be answered before Coats' superstructure can 
be meaningfully examined, much less adopted. 

A second criticism revolves around the problem of subjectivity with such 
an approach. One of the greatest challenges facing form criticism is that of 
developing an external, scientific control to guide the method. This problem 
is particularly acute at the levels of isolating and classifying the literary units 
and determining the setting {Sitz im Leben). Unfortunately, these are also the 
sina qua non of form criticism. 

A third problem centers around certain pericopes which Coats classifies 
under nonhistorical genres such as novella, fable, myth, and (perhaps) saga. 
Coats writes, "The saga reflects, in all probability, the productivity of the 
storyteller within the structures of ancient society" (p. 6). I find such a de- 
historicizing view of biblical traditions indefensible. 

George L. Klein 
Criswell Center for Biblical Studies 

The Epistles to the Colossians, to Philemon, and to the Ephesians, by F. F. 
Bruce, NICNT. Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1984. Pp. 442. $18.95. Cloth. 

This NICNT volume replaces the earlier one on Ephesians and Colos- 
sians by E. K. Simpson and F. F. Bruce (1957), and the section on Philemon 
in Jac. J. Miiller's volume on Philippians and Philemon (1955). The Colos- 
sians portion has been almost completely rewritten by Bruce. The com- 
mentaries on Philemon and Ephesians are entirely new. 

The introduction to Colossians is considerably enlarged from the earlier 
commentary. The history of Colosse is sketched in a most readable fashion, 
and the documentation is extensive from primary sources. The Jewish settle- 
ment in the area is also discussed as a background to the distinctive character 
of the Colossian heresy. It is Bruce's view that the Colossian heresy was 
basically Jewish. However, "it is not the straightforward Judaizing legalism 
of Galatians that is envisioned in Colossians, but a form of mysticism which 


tempted its adepts to look on themselves as a spiritual elite" (p. 22). He goes 
on to say: 

To look to movements within Judaism for the sources of the Colossian heresy is a wiser 
procedure than to postulate direct influences from Iranian or Greek culture. . . . And 
not only in Jewish non-conformity but in what was destined to establish itself as 
normative Judaism there was present, as early as the first century B.C., a form of 
religious mysticism which was to endure for centuries [p. 23]. 

Bruce calls the reader's attention to merkabah mysticism, a Jewish 
phenomenon which emphasized punctilious observance of the minutiae of the 
law so as to gain entry to the vision of the heavenly chariot {merkabah) as in 
Ezekiel's vision (Ezek 1:15-26). He admits that it "cannot be proved that the 
Colossian heresy involved an early form of merkabah mysticism, but the 
heavenly ascent implied in Col. 2:18 appears to have been of the same 
character as the experience which the merkabah mystics sought" (p. 26). 

Those familiar with Bruce's NT commentaries will find few surprises in 
this one. The outline of Colossians has been modified slightly from the earlier 
work, but it is still basically the same. An occasional "Britishism" may mystify 
the American reader. For example, "don't let anyone talk you round with 
plausible arguments" (p. 92). He translates Col 2:18 as "through delight in 
'humility'" and calls it a Septuagintalism, and thus finds no need to emend 
the text as some have proposed (pp. 117-18). One amusing footnote in the 
earlier commentary has been omitted in this one, where Bruce said of J. R. 
Harris that for him "there was nothing more certain in hfe than a good 
conjectural emendation" (p. 249 of Simpson and Bruce commentary). 

The commentary on Philemon is rich with background data but does not 
lose the charm of the letter with too much technical explanation. In the 
introduction Bruce notes that very little is known about the presence of 
Onesimus with Paul. To argue that he was a runaway slave is going beyond 
hard evidence. It is possible that he had been sent to Rome on business for 
Philemon, and had overstayed his leave, thus needing a letter from Paul for 
his extended absence (p. 197). 

Bruce thinks that Paul was requesting Philemon to receive Onesimus 
back on a new footing, and is also delicately letting him know that he would 
really like Philemon to send Onesimus back to Paul to continue the personal 
service he had begun (p. 199). Bruce also thinks that Paul assumed that 
Philemon would take legal steps to change the master-slave relationship and 
set Onesimus free (p. 217). It was not clear to this reviewer how this last 
assumption fits his conclusion that Paul was hinting to Philemon to send 
Onesimus back to Paul. If Onesimus were freed, Philemon would no longer 
be in a position to send him. 

It is also of interest that Bruce opts for the translation "ambassador" 
instead of "old man" in Phlm 9. He argues that this involves no conjectural 
emendation because during that period both words, or at least the two 
spellings, were practically interchangeable. It is not disputed that both spell- 
ings can be found for these words, but it is not as convincing to everyone as it 
is to Bruce that the context favors "ambassador." One could argue that 
Paul's calling himself an ambassador would place his request on the official 
level which he was trying so carefully to avoid. 


The commentary on Ephesians is an entirely new work, distinct from 
Bruce 's 1961 publication of an exposition of this epistle. It is a careful 
exegetical study, rich in documentation and lucid in exposition. Bruce prefers 
to think that Ephesians is an encyclical written to Gentile Christians in the 
province of Asia who needed to be shown what was involved in their recent 
commitment to the way of Christ. He believes that the readers were not 
known personally to Paul. 

The neuter "and this" (Eph 2:8) is interpreted as referring to salvation as 
a whole, not excluding the faith by which it is received. "The foundation of 
the apostles and prophets" (Eph 2:20) is explained as the foundation consist- 
ing of the apostles and prophets, rather than the foundation laid by them. 
Bruce suggests that the apostles and prophets might well be viewed as the 
first stone to be laid in the new building. In discussing the difficult use of 
Psa 68:19 in Eph 4:8, Bruce gives a careful analysis of the textual problem, 
with particular attention to the targumic rendering which is similar to Paul's 
use. The section in Eph 4:8-9 is regarded as apesher, after the pattern of the 
biblical commentaries from Qumran. The well-known command, "Be filled 
with the Spirit" (Eph 5:18) is explained as a reference to the Holy Spirit 
rather than to the human spirit of the believer, in view of the other three uses 
of the phrase "in Spirit" in this epistle, all of which certainly refer to the Holy 
Spirit (cf. Eph 2:22; 3:5; and 6:18). 

This commentary is a worthy example of F. F. Bruce's careful scholar- 
ship and is highly recommended to the serious student of these epistles. It is 
the sort of reference work that will be consulted again and again. 

Homer A. Kent, Jr. 
Grace Theological Seminary 

Style and Discourse, With Special Reference to the Text of the Greek New 
Testament, by E. A. Nida, J. P. Louw, A. H. Snyman and J. V. W. Cronje. 
New York: United Bible Societies, 1983. Pp. 199. $5.95. Paper. 

Linguistics is a relatively new field, a product of the "humanistic sciences" 
(if such a term may be permitted!). Efforts to relate linguistic knowledge to 
the biblical text are newer still. In the last two or three decades, however, 
there have been a number of signs of increasing interaction between linguists 
and biblical studies. Originally a purely scientific endeavor, linguistics has 
come into its own as one of the central concerns of biblical scholarship, both 
here and abroad. This is evidenced by the constantly growing literature in the 
field (for a progress report, see D. A. Black, Linguistics, Biblical Semantics, 
and Biblical Translation: An Annotated Bibliography of Periodical Literature 
from 1961 [Talbot Bibliography 2; La Mirada, CA: Biola University, 1984]). 

One aspect of the contribution which modern linguistics is making to the 
discipline of biblical studies is a renewed appreciation of the importance of 
semiotics — the study of the stylistic, rhetorical, and symbolic level of language. 
Thinking of meaning only in terms of lexical or syntactic items can easily lead 
to a disregarding of the crucial role of rhetorical features as signs. Recent 
treatments of rhetorical criticism have helped biblical scholars to recognize 


the significance of style as an important component in any theory and practice 
of bibUcal interpretation. 

It is in an effort to draw the attention of the NT student to the rhetorical 
dimension of the Greek NT that the present book is offered. The writers are 
not advocating any single approach to semiotics, nor do they necessarily 
endorse everything published in the field of Greek rhetoric. Their purpose 
here is to present the most widely accepted functions and features of rhetoric 
and style in a manner that will enable the beginning student to understand 
and use them in his or her study of the NT. They are convinced that Greek 
studies and particularly NT Greek studies need to be reexamined in the light 
of these new insights. They have sought to provide a comprehensive system 
into which the various functions of style and rhetoric may be fitted. 

The book's eleven chapters can be divided into two sections. Chaps. 1-5 
discuss stylistic formulations and their basic function in the discourse struc- 
ture of the Greek NT. Here the reader will find a convincing argument for the 
necessity of studying semiotics as a method of biblical research; an overview 
of the forty or so rhetorical features found in the Greek NT (e.g., anacolutha, 
litotes, hyperbole, metonymy), and a thorough discussion of the functional 
significance of rhetorical signs in their operation at various levels of language. 

In chaps. 6-11 the authors apply their research to the analysis of several 
NT pericopes, including John 1:1-5; James 1:2-8; Heb 1:1-4; Eph 1:13-14; 
Rom 2:1-11; and Luke 15:11-32. For tasy reference, an appendix classifies 
all the figures of speech found in the NT according to three basic principles: 
repetition, omission, and shifts in expectancies. Each classification is provided 
with at least one example from the Greek NT. 

The strengths of this book are many. The authors have set forth a strong 
rationale for the study of semiotics in the Greek NT. After reading the book I 
was convinced that the study of style and rhetoric can contribute a great deal 
to our understanding of the NT. It can help us become more aware of why we 
understand a text the way we do when we read it, and it can help us talk 
about the text more precisely, by providing us with a methodology through 
which we can show how our interpretation is in part derived from its rhe- 
torical structure. Semiotics may also help us solve problems of interpretation 
by showing in rigorous ways why one meaning is possible but not another. 
Above all, however, semiotics can give us a point of view, a way of looking at 
a text that will help to develop a consistent analysis, and prompt us to ask 
questions about the language of the text that might otherwise be overlooked. 

Other than a few spelling errors, I found no major weaknesses in the 
book. It is worth the price for the appendix of NT figures of speech alone. 
The book is suitable for use in every university and seminary where Greek is 
taught. It is organized in such a way that it could serve as an introductory 
text in a one-semester course in rhetoric or as a handbook in intermediate 
level Greek courses. It is must reading for students preparing for translating 
careers. It succeeds well in presenting its subject in a most readable and 
profitable manner. 

David Alan Black 
Grace Graduate School, Long Beach, CA 


The Majesty of Man: The Dignity of Being Human, by Ronald B. Allen. 
Portland: Multnomah, 1984. Pp. 221. $11.95. 

As another in Multnomah's "Critical Concern" series, this book discusses 
an issue of concern for American readers. The subject of man has become a 
central focus of much writing today under the influence of burgeoning re- 
search in the field of psychology. This book seeks to establish a biblical 
context for anthropology rather than a context of secular humanism which 
has had a profound impact on American thought about man. 

However, the book was something of a disappointment. Although Allen 
says that anthropology is "the burning issue of the day" and that "the very sur- 
vival of the species may hinge on our answers," his answers to such diverse 
issues as racism, sexism, feminism, government and education, evolutionary 
hypotheses, the lack of expository preaching, and the interpretation of Gen 
3:16 lack depth. Rather than finding a critical study of these issues one is 
distracted by illustrations, asides, and peripheral issues. 

Nevertheless, I do not wish to disagree with the overall design of the 
book. The rise and influence of secular humanism in modern America is 
described well. The three divisions of the book, "The Mystery of Man," "The 
Majesty of Man," and "The Mandate for Man," are appropriate. And I 
endorse Allen's underlying desire to motivate believers to proper standards of 
conduct. As Allen says, "When man is what he ought to be as male and 
female, then man brings new majesty to Yahweh his maker" (p. 199). 

The thesis of this book is that there must be a reaffirmation of the 
biblical dignity of man in this dreadful age of assault upon humanity (p. 13). 
For Allen, man's dignity is a subset of God's dignity, as he expressed in his 
discussion of Psalm 8: "man may be praised in the context of the praise of 
God" (p. 69). 

However, Allen's treatment of Psalm 8 is not totally satisfactory. He 
states that the central picture of Psalm 8 is the praise of man (p. 69). But the 
very next sentence is that which was quoted above, namely, "man may be 
praised in the context of the praise of God." He calls this the startling 
teaching of Psalm 8 (p. 69), a text the audacity of which will not go away 
(p. 71). But is man in fact being praised? The introduction and conclusion of 
the psalm use exactly the same words in praise to God (vv 1, 8; Allen calls 
this the frame of the psalm, p. 68). Man, however, is not praised. Allen 
remarks, "When I think of the universe and then think of myself, I must be 
truly humbled" (p. 69). That was the psalmist's reaction as well. Man, faced 
with the magnitude and splendor of God's creation can only be gripped by 
his own insignificance and frailty. The structure and thrust of Psalm 8 dictates 
that the question "What is man, that Thou dost take thought of him?" (v 4a, 
NASB) must be answered along these lines: "In myself I am nothing, yet by 
God's act and grace I have been made a member of a race he has set up as the 
vice-regent of his creation. Thus I cannot but praise him." Man stands not in 
awe of himself but in awe of God. To acknowledge that man is of immense 
importance to God and that man is God's greatest work leads, as the psalmist 
has shown, to the praise and glory of God alone. 


Furthermore, what individual man, when confronted with the awfulness 
of his sin and depravity, dares to exclaim himself majestic? Allen speaks of 
the paradox between the great depth of sin and the great worth of man. I 
prefer, however, to see the paradox as being between the awfulness of sin and 
the awesomeness of the imago dei. 

Another key point in Allen's discussion relates to the title Jesus gave to 
himself, namely, "the Son of Man." Allen refers this to Jesus' identification 
with humanity as it ought to be: royal, wonderful, and majestic (p. 124). 
Allen then construes this title as bespeaking the high value and worth of man 
(pp. 63, 108). However, others understand this title as pointing to Jesus' 
heavenly origin, his possession of heavenly glory, and his suffering for men 
(of. Morris, The Gospel According to John [NICNT; Grand Rapids: Eerd- 
mans, 1971] 172; and Charles Ryrie, Biblical Theology o/ A^r [Chicago: 
Moody, 1970] 51). 

Secular humanism elevates man's concept of himself. Allen sees a biblical 
anthropology as teaching a paradox between the great depth of sin and the 
great worth of man. I believe, however, that the emphasis of Scripture focuses 
on the greatness of God, as expressed in the central theme of Psalm 8: "O 
Lord, our Lord, how excellent is Thy name in all the earth!" 

Trevor Craigen 
Macon, France 

The Case for Christianity, by Colin Chapman. Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 
1983. Pp. 315. $12.95. Paper. 

Originally published in hardcover. The Case for Christianity has now 
been released in a paperback edition. This book is a cross between a history 
of philosophical ideas and an apologetics text. It features a handbook-style 
anthology with over one thousand quotations from a wide variety of sources 
and well over one hundred drawings and photographs (both color and 

The text is arranged in seven major sections which are subdivided into 
almost forty smaller sections. It begins with a discusssion of ten of mankind's 
most basic questions concerning such topics as meaning, values, truth, love, 
suffering, evil, and death (sec. 1). Then there is a logical progression from a 
statement of Christian answers to these questions (2) and Christian beliefs (3), 
to how these beliefs may be tested (4), to a comparison of them with other 
systems of thought (5), and then to a defense of Christianity (6). This book 
closes with an appeal to the reader to trust Jesus Christ and the Christian 
world view set forth in Scripture. 

Chapman's volume has several positive qualities. Few books on the 
market in this general field exhibit the variety of topics that this one does, 
ranging from crucial questions to a comparative study of major religions and 
from philosophical world views to apologetics. Another feature, and perhaps 


the strongest, is the emphasis on studying ideas. Quotations, often from 
world-renowned scholars, set the stage for the exploration of major concepts 
in both Eastern and Western thought. 

The different sections are of varying quality, but are usually well done. 
For example, the questions raised in section one are not only of obvious 
importance (even in terms of life and death), but are stated in such a way that 
one can existentially relate to the problems themselves. Sec. 4, which is 
concerned with the criteria for testing beliefs, is also well done. The conclu- 
sion is that Christianity is, in principle, testable in the same general way as is 
history (pp. 112-13), philosophy (p. 118), and even science (pp. 121-23). 
However, the last part of sec. 4 (concerning the "test case" of creation versus 
evolution) makes some good points but is rather indecisive. Sec. 5, measur- 
ing almost one-third of the entire book, is an information-packed division 
which briefly discusses five world religions, ten major philosophers and ten 

Another positive point concerns the readability of the book. While the 
ideas are lofty, the language is quite comprehensible. 

A few concerns also need to be noted. Although the sections are generally 
strong, a few areas need strenthening. The relative indecisiveness of the crea- 
tion versus evolution test case was just mentioned. A more important example 
concerns sec. 6, which in a certain sense is the heart of the book. While 
featuring a major apologetic for Christianity, it is probably also the weakest 
portion of the text. It is not so much that the arguments are poor, but that 
the various points generally need strengthening against more rigorous forms 
of each objection. As an example, the portion on the reliability of the NT is 
only three pages long (pp. 234-36). Though it never treats the issue of inspira- 
tion at all, it later quotes extensively from NT texts. However, general 
reliability does not insure the nature of the exact words, at least not as 
Chapman presents the evidence. More argumentation and evidences are 

Another major point concerns the presence of so many quotations (over 
one thousand) in this volume, some of which are fairly long. While they 
frequently serve a very positive purpose (see above), often they are strung 
together with little commentary. 

Lastly, while this reviewer often found the many pictures attractive, they 
frequently distracted from the discussion. Additionally, the pictures were 
often unrelated (or only incidently related) to the text. Yet, it is certainly 
realized that such a comment falls into the broad and complex field of 
aesthetics and that others might disagree at this juncture.' 

As a whole, my assessment of this book is positive. It is distinctive in its 
approach and certainly in its colorful format. Its vast range of topics gives it 
a broad appeal as does its readable language and style. And the development 
of prominent ideas in both Eastern and Western thought is probably the 
strongest single feature of this volume. I recommend this book as a good 
survey text, expecially for college classes which attempt a combined treat- 
ment of philosphical ideas and apologetics. The many topics even allow much 
room for the professor to choose selected areas for study. 


With regard to the areas of concern noted above, a professor could 
supplement sec. 6 (or any other portion) with additional material. With 
regard to the need for more discussion, this could also be supplemented by 
class notes and lectures. In fact, both of these procedures are recommended 
by this reviewer. 

With these qualifications, Chapman's volume could serve as a general 
text for college classes in areas of philosophy or apologetics. It is also broad 
enough to interest persons who simply like to read and study in these areas. 

Gary R. Habermas 
Liberty University 

Foundations of Evangelical Theology, by John Jefferson Davis. Grand 
Rapids: Baker, 1984. Pp. 282. $9.95. Paper. 

Handbook of Basic Bible Texts, by John Jefferson Davis. Grand Rapids: 
Zondervan, 1984. Pp. 158. $6.95. Paper. 

Theology Primer, by John Jeff.^^rson Davis. Grand Rapids: Baker, 1981. 
Pp. 111. $5.95. Paper. 

John Jefferson Davis, assistant professor of Theology at Gordon- 
Conwell Theological Seminary, has written three outstanding volumes to 
assist the student (and professor) in the introduction to the study of theology. 
Together, the books provide a wealth of information regarding biblical texts, 
brief commentaries on important passages, extensive bibliography, definition 
of terms, identification of leading figures in theology (past and present) and a 
truly fine example of theological method. I am sure that the books will find 
acceptance in a broad range of theological institutions. 

The Handbook of Basic Bible Texts provides a complete text of key 
passages which form the foundation for the study of particular theological 
topics. Davis gives the key passages offered by proponents of various views 
where there are genuine differences of opinion among evangelicals. At places 
there is a brief commentary on the positions and references to theologians 
supporting the disputed points. The translation which he uses for Scripture 
references is the NIV (showing the wide acceptance that this version is re- 
ceiving among evangelicals). Each section closes with a brief listing of books 
for further study. The beginning student will find this little volume invaluable 
in working through the issues in systematic theology. 

A second volume, the Theology Primer, complements the Handbook. 
New students in theology sometimes sit under a professor who surveys the 
history of various views and demonstrates strengths and weaknesses of each. 
Such students may feel completely overwhelmed with the amount of litera- 
ture, the new and difficult terms, and the names of numerous theologians 
who advocate certain positions. This book is mandatory for such students. As 
the author says, "it will help the student find his or her way around the 
theological landscape." 


The volume discusses thirty-two major theologians, contemporary ones 
such as Henry, Packer, and Pannenberg and those of the past such as 
Schleiermacher, Harnack, Hodge, and Warfield. The diversity of positions 
represented is obvious from this small sampling. Theological terms such as 
"personal and propositional revelation" and philosophical positions of truth 
and language are surveyed. The introductory chapter is a brief, but helpful 
guide to theological research. The book concludes with a detailed bibliog- 
raphy on each major topic in systematics. One could easily "get picky" con- 
cerning the choices that the author made concerning terms, theologians and 
books. If so, there is ample room for another similar volume discussing issues 
and people from different denominations and theological traditions. Davis's 
own reformed-evangelical position is evident as one moves through the pages 
of the volume. For those with more Baptistic, Wesleyan, or Dispensational 
leanings, different selections may be desired. Yet, without question, the book 
is a genuine contribution to theological introduction. 

The third volume. Foundations of Evangelical Theology, is a marvelous 
text on theological method. The author surveys the evangelical movement in 
America in order to pinpoint the audience for which he desires to do theology. 
This audience is those who walk a middle position between modernity on the 
"left" and fundamentalism on the "right." His understanding of American 
evangelicalism echoes many of the optimistic insights in previous volumes on 
this subject by Donald Bloesch. The following chapters include discussion of 
divine revelation, the place of reason, the role of religious experience, tradi- 
tion, and Scripture and hermeneutics. 

The chapter focusing on divine revelation offers a nice discussion of the 
usual distinctions between general and special revelation. He is quick to point 
out that the revelation of God is not merely for "the saving of souls," but is a 
world changing word from God. The personal, corporate, and societal implica- 
tions of the gospel are detailed from a Reformed perspective. Revelation 
assumes the leading place in his thought. Reason is a servant to revelation 
and must be transformed by that revelation because reason itself is sinful and 
needs redeeming. For Davis, echoing Van Til, there is a profound difference 
between sinful and redeemed reason. This gap makes a major difference in 
the way one approaches psychology, sociology, political science, economics 
and other major disciplines. As evangelicals become more prominent in 
American society, they must remember the vast difference that exists between 
Christian and non-Christian approaches to these subjects. 

The chapter on religious experience may prove to^be provocative, al- 
though Davis is certainly quite cautious in his statements. He suggests the 
possibility for continuous experiential revelations alongside the written word 
of God. While affirming the priority of Scripture, Davis leaves somewhat 
ambiguous how these experiences are to be interpreted. Even though E. Y. 
Mullins based a theology on experience and wrote the articles on "experience" 
in the The Fundamentals, it seems apparent that Davis is unaware of 
Mullins's valuable contribution to this subject. There is a two page bibliog- 
raphy following the section on experience, but Mullins's name is absent. 

The chapter on tradition is in my opinion the finest contribution of the 
book. For one who does theology by doing biblical theology in light of 


tradition (as apparently is the method of the author), this chapter will prove 
quite valuable. Davis includes the early fathers, the Ecumenical synods, the 
reformers, and contemporary proponents in the survey. Included is a fine 
analysis of recent contributions to Roman Catholic tradition such as the 
immaculate conception, papal infallibility, and other issues. The priority of 
Scripture is the basis for the rejection of these positions. 

The concluding chapters on Scripture and hermeneutics are useful and 
insightful. Davis affirms verbal inspiration and the inerrancy of the Bible. His 
discussion of what could be considered error in light of the biblical standards 
of truth and accuracy is valuable. The hermeneutic umbrella for Davis in- 
cludes an inerrant text, one harmonious message in the Bible, and one God as 
the ultimate author of Holy Scripture. One might wish for additional discus- 
sion on doctrinal development in the text, progressive revelation, and au- 
thorial intent. But that would probably require a book in itself. Traditional 
dispensationalism comes under the author's criticism. Perhaps more recent 
approaches to dispensationalism such as Saucy's or Cook's would be more 
acceptable to him. Davis seems inclined to the "obedience of faith" position 
of Daniel Fuller as a guide to the understanding of the unity and diversity in 
the text. 

The book is written for American Evangelical theologians, and it should 
be read by all theologians and students. 1 am quite sure that this volume will 
make a major contribution to discussions of method and hermeneutics. 

These three volumes, along with a work previously edited by the author. 
The Necessity of Systematic Theology, are quite sufficient for detailed and 
profitable hours of study in the area of theological prolegomena. I recom- 
mend them all. 

David S. Dockery 
Criswell Center for Biblical Studies 

Christian Theology, Vol. 2, by Millard J. Erickson. Grand Rapids: Baker, 
1984. Pp. 455-862. $19.95. 

One can hardly find the words to express appreciation to Millard 
Erickson for the fine contribution that he has made to evangelical theology. 
Vol. 2 of Christian Theology exceeds the reader's expectations, which were 
already quite high due to the quality of Vol. 1. Vol. 2 surveys the doctrines of 
humanity, sin, the person of Christ, and the work of Christ. The work is 
consistent in its exegesis and interacts with historical and contemporary 
positions. The methodology that Erickson outlined so well in Vol. 1 is 
consistently applied in Vol. 2. The true strength of the volume is its concern 
for the church and its doxological summaries. Good theology should not lead 
to debate, but to doxology, and Erickson is certainly on target at this point. 

Granting these obvious strengths, some will disagree with Erickson's 
opening chapters concerning creation. While there is genuine wrestling with 
the biblical and scientific material, it is disappointing that there is little interest 


in the young earth position of the Creation Research Society or the Institute 
for Creation Research. Also, there is no interaction with Bruce WaUke's 
position (see the five articles in BSac 132-33 [1975-76]). Erickson adopts a 
progressive creationist position similar to that of Davis Young. This of course 
comes as no surprise since it was previously discussed in Vol. 1. He does 
conclude with a strong defense of the historicity of the biblical Adam and an 
excellent summary of the theological meaning of human creation. 

His chapter on the "image of God" in men and women is very well 
written. It includes interaction with the substantive, relational, and functional 
views followed by a lengthy evaluation of each. His conclusions give evidence 
of solid exegesis and theological reflection. The ethical implications of this 
important issue are outUned as a summary for the chapter. The closely related 
discussion of the "constitutional nature of the human" follows. He demon- 
strates the weaknesses of the trichotomist position and then honestly evaluates 
the strengths of the dichotomists and the monists. His conclusion is a con- 
flation of these alternatives which he calls conditional unity. The discussion 
of the "universality of humanity" is a helpful and insightful chapter focusing 
on the theological and ethical considerations of the doctrine of humanity. He 
addresses the issues of racism, sexism, oppression, the aged, the unborn, and 
the unmarried. The pastor will find much beneficial material at this point. 

Erickson offers a lengthy section on the doctrine of sin that includes "the 
nature of sin," "the source of sin," "the results of sin," "the magnitude of sin," 
and "the social dimensions of sin." Particularly helpful is his explanation 
concerning the interrelationship between the doctrine of sin and other doc- 
trines. He sees the results of sin in terms of its negative effects on the sinner 
and the sinner's relation to others, in addition to the separation of one's 
relationship with God. The implications for the doctrine of reconciliation are 
quite apparent. The discussion of the transmission of sin takes into con- 
sideration traditional and contemporary options. After examining the issues 
arising from Romans 5, he opts for a doctrine of imputation calibrated 
according to the level of responsibility and maturity in one's life, a view with 
which I am not in complete agreement. 

Without question the strength of the book is the latter half, where he 
focuses on the issues of Christology. With the issues in theology at large 
centralized at this point, Erickson's work will prove a worthy contribution to 
future discussions. Unlike contemporary approaches that discuss the work of 
Christ prior to the person of Christ (in functional or even process models), 
Erickson surveys the person of Christ and then moves tq his work. There are 
excellent sections on the deity of Christ, the humanity of Christ, and the 
virgin birth. Included is a nice overview of the kenosis and the corresponding 
issues concerning the sinlessness of Jesus. His conclusions are orthodox at 
each point. He is, however, fully aware of the issues in contemporary theology 
and opts for a fully Chalcedonian model of Jesus' person. Consistent with his 
previously announced methodology is a concern to retranslate Chalcedon, 
but certainly not to reinterpret it! 

The final area outlining the work of Christ is the zenith of the volume. 
He presents a biblical interpretation of the work of Christ in relation to the 
functions of Christ as revealer, reconciler, and ruler (in contrast to the offices 


of prophet, priest, and king). Following his model of tracing the historical 
development of the doctrine, he opts for the penal-substitution theory of 
Calvin as that which best represents the biblical data. He then points out 
strengths in the other views for a well-rounded explanation of the atonement. 
He answers the contemporary objections to this conclusion and lists the 
implications of this view for the life of the believer. The volume concludes 
with a well thought out analysis of the long discussed question concerning the 
extent of the atonement. He opts for a position balanced between Arminian- 
ism and Calvinism. A note is included concerning the charismatic concept of 
healing in the atonement. 

The benefits of such a book to the evangelical world are many. It 
exemplifies honest examination of opposing positions. The theologian is re- 
minded by example to keep the church in the forefront of attention when 
doing theology. A model based on a strong position of biblical authority is 
offered, along with the implications of such authority — where the Bible speaks 
Christians should speak and where the Bible is silent Christians should speak 
with caution and care. The irenic and doxological tone of the book make it 
very enjoyable, not to mention the fact that it is very well written. This set 
(assuming the same standards of excellence are present in Vol. 3) will become 
standard classroom reading for evangelical seminaries and colleges for de- 
cades ahead. Because of his concern for the church, Erickson's volumes should 
be mandatory reading for pastors as well. The results should be enrichment 
for the life, witness, and worship of the church. 

David S. Dockery 
Criswell Center for Biblical Studies 

Theological and Religious Reference Materials. Vol. 1, General Resources 
and Biblical Studies, by G. E. Gorman and Lyn Gorman. Westport, Conn.: 
Greenwood, 1984. Pp. xvi + 526. $49.95. 

Theological and Religious Reference Materials. Vol. 2, Systematic Theology 
and Church History, by G. E. Gorman and Lyn Gorman. Westport, Conn.: 
Greenwood, 1985. Pp. xiv + 401. $47.50. 

Theological students should welcome these first two volumes of an- 
notated bibliography. They will look forward to Vol. 3 (dealing with practical 
theology and related subjects in the social sciences) and Vol. 4 (on compara- 
tive and non-Christian religions). Greenwood Press is to be congratulated for 
these inaugural volumes in its series. Bibliographies and Indexes in Religious 

Vol. 1 contains 2,204 entries arranged into 21 classifications, while Vol. 2 
has 1,788 entries in eleven classifications. Each volume contains detailed 
author, title, and subject indexes. American scholars may find the classifica- 
tion scheme far too broad, although the Australian authors intended it that 
way, hoping to encourage browsing by the neophyte theologian (Vol. 1, 
p. xii). Nevertheless, it seems odd that Migne's Patrologiae Cursus Completus 
comprises only two entries out of 452 "handbooks" on Church History. 
Neither pride of place nor length of annotation distinguishes the 328-volume 


Patrologiae from such lesser efforts as a 124 -page book on The Medieval 
Church. Confessional or chronological or geographical subheadings in the 
classification would have been useful. 

The citations are arranged alphabetically by author or editor, then by 
title. This is sometimes awkward, as when a supplement is listed prior to a 
main title, or even widely separated from it because of a different editor. One 
wishes that the number of pages had been given for single volume works. 
This is sometimes useful as a hint at the comprehensiveness of a work in 
comparison to similar works. 

Each entry has a one paragraph annotation that briefly conveys the 
subject matter and scope of the work. The author's viewpoint, theological 
stance, and major advantages and deficiencies of the work are occasionally 
noted. Most annotations are quite positive or at least neutral. Gorman and 
Gorman are careful to identify supplements, revisions, reprints, and microform 
editions, and frequently guide the user to newer, better, or more compre- 
hensive works. 

The wide range of materials included in these two volumes reflects the 
broad definition of "reference materials" adopted by the compilers (Vol. 1, 
p. xi). It is inevitable that errors and omissions will be noted. Premillennial 
theologians may be annoyed, for example, to find that Chafer's eight-volume 
Systematic Theology is not included among numerous similar works. Antici- 
pating such occurrences, the authors invite comments for use in any future 
supplementary volumes. 

A fine feature of Vol. 1 is the chapter on "Introduction to the Study and 
Use of Theological Literature," by John B. Trotti, librarian at Union Theo- 
logical Seminary of Virginia. His essay should provide both guidance and 
inspiration to the young theological scholar; it is required reading for this 
reviewer's class in theological research. 

Because of their scope and cost these volumes will not likely find a place 
on many shelves. That place might more appropriately be filled by John A. 
Bollier's The Literature of Theology: A Guide for Students and Pastors 
(Westminster, 1979), or Robert J. Kepple's Reference Works for Theological 
Research: An Annotated Selective Bibliographical Guide (2d ed.; University 
Press of America, 1981). 

Robert Ibach 
Grace Theological Seminary 

God as the Mystery of the World: On the Foundation of the Theology of the 
Crucified One in the Dispute between Theism and Atheism, by Eberhard 
Jiingel. Translated by Darrell L. Guder. Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1983. 
Pp. 414. $20.95. 

The modern skepticism with regard to the person of God (a situation to 
which Jiingel refers repeatedly) has arisen because of certain metaphysical 
developments over the last several hundred years and because of the thorough 
misunderstanding of the invisibility of God in the world — or, as this work 
expresses it, that God is in the world as not God — whereby God is the 


mystery of the world. In light of the current situation, Eberhard Jungel uses 
his well-known constructive theological abilities both to expose the trends 
and thought forms that have given rise to modern radical unbelief and to give 
in-depth expression of the biblical identification of God as the Crucified 
Jesus of Nazareth whereby God is revealed as love. 

Jungel, who is Professor of Philosophy and Theology at the University 
of Tubingen, was a student of Barth and the Barthian influence is evident 
throughout much of the book. However, he is far from a mere Barthian 
mouthpiece. This is seen most clearly in Jungel's development since his earlier 
book. The Doctrine of the Trinity: God's Being is in Becoming. Much of his 
discussion arises from the nineteenth century insights of both the constructive 
forms (e.g., Hegel, Schelling, and Schleiermacher) and the more nihilistic 
forms (e.g., Feuerbach, Marx, and Nietzsche). Out of this and through care- 
fully chosen biblical texts, Jungel responds to the current situation. 

In chap. 1, Jungel begins reflecting on the problem and embarrassment 
of talk about God. While theology seeks to make "God" an understandable, 
significant, and relevant term for the world, it seems that there is no place for 
God. Jiingel responds to this by rejecting the Western metaphysical tradition 
which has its basis in Greek philosophy. Rather than thinking of God as 
absolute, utterly removed from man (and thus finally irrelevant for man) as is 
true in Greek philosophy, Jungel insists on the "word of the cross" and a 
return to a true Christian perspective on God, i.e., God on the cross. 

In chap. 2 Jungel continues his analysis of modern doubt and atheism. 
The claims of atheism can be rejected rightly only after classical theism (the 
Western metaphysical tradition) has been rejected. Modern skepticism about 
God arises not so much from questions about who or whether God is but 
from questions about the where of God and from demands for certainty. Just 
as Barth criticized theism via the Christian faith itself, so too Jungel seeks to 
correct theism in light of the "death of God." Classical theism could not allow 
death to be attributed to the One above man. Yet the Christian understanding 
is that in Christ God participated in death. The idea of the "death of God in 
Christ" is ancient in the church (Jiingel notes this from Tertullian through 
Luther, although there were various understandings), yet this thought was 
lost to the church because Greek thought about the absoluteness of God was 
made the construct by which the Bible was interpreted. Jungel concludes this 
chapter by summarizing the christological origin of the phrase "death of 
God" and its modern recovery by philosophy and theology. 

In chap. 3 Jungel wrestles with the critical impact of the Cartesian 
cogito upon the Western concept of God and the philosophical developments 
that followed, notably in the varying negations of Fichte, Feuerbach, and 
Nietzsche. From the problematic line of Western metaphysical thought, Jungel 
reformulates the modern understanding of God via negation of a static ontos 
and via an active coming of the divine relating to man via topos. The Cartesian 
cogito, while affirming God's existence by methodical doubt, in fact enacted 
the separation of the essence and existence of God, his existence being actually 
established by the "I think." Contrary to this Western metaphysical tradition 
but in keeping with early Christian thought, Jungel argues that God's deity 
must be construed in unity with death in Jesus the crucified one and in unity 


with self-negation. This is the only real basis whereby the being of God can 
be adequately thought. Chaps. 4 and 5 give concreteness to this initial expres- 
sion of Jiingel's very forceful point. 

Having established that God in Jesus Christ can be thought, Jiingel 
moves necessarily and relevantly (in light of continued debate regarding 
"God-talk") to the speakability of God. One can abuse the name of God by 
both crudity and by over-refinement. It is this second tendency that Jiingel 
confronts in chap. 4. Proper talk about God must correspond to God in that 
it "lets him come," i.e., lets him be subject of speaking by being present in the 
Word. The Christian faith moves from the belief that God has definitely 
spoken, definitively in the Word of the Cross. Faith is man's necessary 
response to the event wherein God has spoken and allowed man to participate 
in the Word. Here God justifies man, and God has allowed himself to be 
recognized. Yet, in light of this, what is the appropriate way to talk of God? 
Christian theology, under the influence of Western metaphysics (from the 
pre-Socratics and Plato to Thomas Aquinas by way of Pseudo-Dionysius 
and John of Damascus), has so often emphasized the incomprehensibility of 
God as Trans-Word or Non-Word, etc., that one wonders at the acknowledg- 
ment of the Scriptures and the reality of the incarnation. Classically, God is 
discussed via analogy so as to give real affirmation of God and so as to avoid 
the skepticism produced by equivocation. Yet classical analogy in God-talk 
has in fact concluded that God's essence is preserved in mystery and spoken 
of still in negative terms. Classical analogy is actually agnostic in its speaking 
of God. At the doorstep of classical analogy (that has imbibed of Western 
metaphysics at the expense of the biblical witness) Jiingel places much of the 
blame for modern doubt about God. Jiingel argues that God has shown 
himself, pointedly in Jesus of Nazareth, as One who speaks out of himself in 
the Word and encounters human existence. God in Jesus the Crucified One 
has made himself knowable and speakable. In Jesus the "parable of God," 
God comes and in his great distance (distinction) establishes his greater near- 
ness to man. The name of such a One is Love. 

In his closing section, "On the Humanity of God," Jiingel initiates a 
brief review of his early question "Where is God?" (rather than "what" or 
"whether"). This must be understood as it relates to the modern atheistic 
meaning of what was originally a christological statement, i.e., the death of 
God. God must be understood in unity with perishability by the identification 
of the living God with the crucified Jesus. Herein is the union of death and 
life for the sake of life which is the necessary essence of love. This is neces- 
sitated because "God is love." This statement from 1 John 4:16 is at the 
heart of Jiingel's exposition of God's triunal revelation reflected in Jesus of 
Nazareth. The life of Jesus in the act of the Word tells the story of God's 
coming. Through the church, the story of God's coming near to man in Jesus 
is now told and re-told, and man is turned outward or liberated from himself 
by it. By emphasizing the "whereness," the thinkability, and the speakability 
of God whose being is in coming, Jiingel is emphasizing the God who is love. 
This is both a statement and an event expressed in Jesus the Crucified and 
Resurrected One. Throughout Jiingel's chap. 5 there is intense discussion of 
this statement/ reality as the only real basis for God tri-unity. Through a 


hermeneutical and metaphysical analysis of love (via markedly Hegelian pat- 
terns), Jiingel expresses his thesis point. Not from any vague trinitarian NT 
statements but only from the reality of God who is love can one estabUsh the 
fact and necessity of the tri-unity of the God who has come near in Jesus. 

In analysis, one must first emphasize the positive elements of Jungel's 
colossal work. His discussion on the background of modern theological doubt 
is very helpful and ought to be heeded. In desiring to magnify God's absolute 
glory it is possible to emphasize him as so vastly beyond and essentially 
unthinkable that the revelation of God and the incarnation of the Son of God 
are made theologically impossible! Further, I appreciated Jiingel's desire to 
overcome modern doubt by a reaffirmation of the biblical perspective of God 
who has revealed himself in Jesus Christ. In this the "whereness" of God is 
clearly important in the modern God-talk debate. Finally, Jiingel's discussion 
of hermeneutical issues (as related also to God-talk) is very helpful and 
informative. Jiingel's historical, philosophical, and theological expertise is 
vast and with these tools he clearly desires to strengthen the foundations of 
the church on the one hand, and to make clear the final inappropriateness of 
modern theological and philosophical skepticism. 

However, Jiingel's profound thesis is not an orthodox expression of the 
Christian faith. While his discussions are often helpful and always provoca- 
tive, the influence of his mentor, Karl Barth (see Jiingel's God's Being is in 
Becoming), is clear. Jiingel does not merely mimic Barth, but many of the 
criticisms leveled at Barth in the past are at least partially applicable to 
Jiingel. Though he desires to be scriptural, Jiingel clearly picks and chooses 
only the scriptures which supposedly support his views. His Christology, 
while at times hinting at the Chalcedonian conclusion, is semi-adoptionist 
and at times reflects the process theology view of Christ as the man most fully 
apprehending God's nearness and creative love. Jiingel's trinity, as was Earth's, 
is quite Hegelian and often modalistic. Furthermore, this translation is often 
hard to read (this is not Guder's fault, for Jiingel's German is notoriously 

Despite these major problems, this text is recommended for the pro- 
fessional theologian and advanced student in theology. It is an excellent 
treatment of the present situation. Jiingel's formulations should provoke inter- 
action and refinement of the orthodox expression of the living God who has 
revealed himself by his incarnate Son, the Lord Jesus Christ. 

John D. Morrison 
Liberty University 

Death and the Afterlife, by Robert A. Morey. Minneapolis: Bethany, 1984. 
Pp. 315. $11.95. Paper. 

In his Foreword, Walter Martin remarks that this book by Robert Morey 
will become "a standard reference work" on the subject of death and the 
afterlife. In the Preface, Roger Nicole notes the technical precision in Morey's 
research. The book consists of two major parts ("Exposition" and "Defense") 


and two appendices. The five chapters in Part I chiefly pursue the her- 
meneutical, lexicographical, extra-biblical, and theological background and 
meanings of a variety of topics. Included are treatments of body, soul and 
spirit, Sheol, Hades and Gehenna, as well as everlasting life and eternal 
punishment. There are also five chapters in Part II, devoted chiefly to 
polemics against materialism, annihilationalism, universalism and occultism. 
The two appendices deal respectively with Alfred Edersheim's position on 
eternal punishment and quotations from "church fathers," although the mate- 
rial is taken from only two, Justin Martyr and Irenaeus. The book then closes 
with a Selected Bibliography and three indices. 

This volume generally exhibits a high degree of scholarship. One is 
repeatedly impressed by the amount of background material and research 
which had to be done in order to interact properly with the individual topics 
in Part I. Chap. 1, as an example, sets forth hermeneutical guidelines for the 
scriptural study of death and the afterlife. Many unbiblical aberrations are 
the result of improper interpretation. By performing such a foundational 
task, Morey lays the groundwork for his later conclusions. Other instances of 
proper research procedures include Morey's careful attention to the meanings 
of words, the exegetical contexts, and extra-biblical meanings supplied by 
intertestamental and rabbinic sources. 

Part II is concerned with somewhat different material, chiefly defending 
the biblical options set forth in the first part against non-biblical views. 
Chap. 7 is a pointed and insightful critique of philosophical materialism. 
Chap. 10 contains good warnings against any involvement in the occult, 
especially by the Christian. This is timely in light of the tendency, even 
among Christians, to tamper with this area out of curiosity. Few sins are 
condemned so strongly in Scripture (cf. Deut 18:9-12, 14; Lev 20:27; and 
Rev 21:8). 

Lastly, the Bibliography is generally excellent, including some relatively 
obscure works. Yet, there are some problems in this section, a few of which 
will be noted momentarily. 

Generally speaking, this volume by Morey is a well-researched treatise 
on the biblical data concerning death and eternal life. However, there are 
areas in this work which are problematical and need strengthening. 

One such area concerns the Bibliography, just mentioned for its general 
strengths. While a few small problems might simply be overlooked, several 
reoccur. For instance, it was frustrating to be referred to the Bibliography for 
several books by certain authors, only to find that those books were not 
included there (pp. 99, 284, 286). More serious, however, is that in Morey's 
major critique of Karl Barth (pp. 227-31, 236-38), including direct references 
to his writings, primary sources are absent from both the footnotes and the 
Bibliography. The reader should be directed to the original sources against 
which Morey's criticisms can be checked. 

Second, in the "Life After Life" section of chap. 10 (pp. 262-64), re- 
searchers are blamed for some things of which they are not generally guilty, 
such as whether "life after life" experiences are termed near-death or post- 
death. For instance, Raymond Moody does not generally (if ever) call them 
"after death experiences," as Morey asserts on p. 263. A more critical issue is 


that Morey dismisses these experiences much too easily, citing several natural 
hypotheses (pp. 263-64). Yet, each of these has been thoroughly refuted in 
relevant publications which Morey does not cite at all. For instance, phar- 
maceutical, neurological, physiological, or psychological causes are unable 
to explain the many corroborative experiences which have been recorded. 
Veridical experiences have not been explained by such subjective theories. 
But here is the crucial point. Morey also approvingly cites Maurice Rawlings's 
research. Therefore, he apparently speaks positively of (or at least allows for) 
Christian near-death experiences and experiences of a hell which are consistent 
with the biblical description (i.e., the "hell experiences" which Rawhngs 
widely popularized). If this is the case, he should more clearly inform his 
readers that not all such experiences are nonbiblical. He need not make 
Christians who have had near-death experiences (and there are many) feel 
that these are necessarily due to occultic reasons. I believe that there must be 
a critical reevaluation of near-death experiences consistent with biblical 
norms. This brief section in Morey's book is important, given the contem- 
porary scene. But its quick dismissals without distinctions tend to be both 
incorrect and misleading, necessitating a more careful response. 

Third and most important, Morey's volume is limited by the exclusion of 
some crucial areas on the subject of death and the afterlife which have largely 
been ignored. Immortality of the soul (of several varieties) has, throughout 
history, been the chief competition for the Christian view of resurrection of 
the body. More discussion of this contrast in Part I would have been very 
helpful. I was also very surprised to find virtually no treatment of the nature 
of the resurrection body, including the implications of Jesus' resurrection. 
Further, if Morey's intention in chap. 7 is to critique the general naturalistic 
position that denies life after death, additional positions besides materialism 
need to be included. And with the current popularity of the Eastern religions, 
treatment of their views (beyond reincarnation, pp. 264-65) could easily have 
taken an additional chapter in Part II. These extra issues would have made 
this book even more relevant to current trends. As it is, the volume appears 
to be more oriented towards cultic claims than philosophical ones. Of course, 
any book could be strengthened by the inclusion of additional material, so 
these are only suggestions of some crucial areas. 

The overall evaluation of this book, however, is surely positive. Perhaps 
its greatest virtue is the level and amount of research, as indicated above. But 
additionally, its "1, 2, 3 approach" keeps it interesting and very readable. The 
weaknesses critiqued here could easily be remedied. 

The topic of death and the afterlife is always a popular one. For the 
Christian, Scripture presents infallible guidelines. Though many are looking 
to the occult. Scripture seriously warns against such an approach. Accord- 
ingly, I recommend this book as a textbook for courses on cults or escha- 
tology, whether for group studies or for personal reading. Much noteworthy 
data is supplied which needs to be studied and digested. 

Gary R. Habermas 
Liberty University 


Designs and Origins in Astronomy, edited by George Mulfinger, Jr. Creation 
Research Society Monograph Series, No. 2. Norcross, Georgia: Creation 
Research Society Books, 1983. Pp. 151. No price. 

Creation science holds that evangelical and scientific discussion are not 
mutually exclusive, for under the Creator God both spheres are actually one. 
What we are left with, then, is a formidable amount of explaining to do when 
science and Scripture appear to conflict. Such is the aim of this second in the 
Creation Research Society's monograph series, a collection of articles by 
seven authors that tackles a number of scientific questions. 

The arrangement of topics is both logical and satisfying. Two essays 
begin and end the collection by setting forth the creationist perspective that 
undergirds it, and between these two statements appear eight technical papers 
critiquing the evolutionist perspective, first on the universe as a whole and 
then on the solar system in particular. 

The four articles that discuss the universe in general begin with a key- 
note paper by Donald DeYoung and John Whitcomb, "The Origin of the 
Universe." This paper is an excellent introduction to those that follow. It is 
perhaps the most general of them all, and it introduces not only the principal 
noncreationist view — the "big bang" hypothesis — but also a number of ideas 
that are considered in greater detail later in the book, such as the stellar 
evolution scheme and the question of solar fusion. The "big bang" hypothesis 
is not plausible. It requires more time than some observations suggest the 
universe has had, and it does not account either for the initial formation of 
stars nor the order observable in the universe. The authors also point out the 
fruitlessness (so far) of man's search for extraterrestrial life, and suggest that 
there is none to be found because life was installed only on this planet. Their 
conclusion (which should come as no surprise to GTJ readers) is that the best 
explanation for universal origins is not a cosmic explosion but a divine 
creation — that cosmic genesis and canonical Genesis coincide. 

Succeeding chapters grow more detailed. Indeed, the next one, a discus- 
sion by Emmett Williams of the "big bang" model as seen from a thermo- 
dynamic perspective, is memorable chiefly for its detail. Williams's main 
argument has been aired before — namely, that no evolutionary model satis- 
factorily explains the origins of mass/ energy or how, in a universe that moves 
inexorably toward equiUbrium (maximum entropy), a homogeneous state of 
mass /energy at thermal equilibrium (the fireball that immediately followed 
the explosion) could develop into a heterogeneous state of mass/ energy at a 
decided ^//^equilibrium (the current cosmos). What makes Williams's article 
valuable is the detail he brings to his subject. The nontechnical reader who is 
looking for new arguments will not find them here; but it could be that 
Williams has given us the definitive restatement of the old ones. 

Donald DeYoung's article, "The Redshift Controversy," considers astro- 
nomical distances. DeYoung examines the established technique of measuring 
the distance of a light-emitting object from the earth by studying its redshift, 
that is, the apparent decrease in frequency of the light it emits as it recedes 
from the observe. This technique is the only one that yields distances in 
billions of light-years. A number of observations, however, particularly those 


involving quasars, suggest that this technique is not as dependable as one 
could wish. Indeed, all techniques that measure distances greater than three 
hundred light-years are open to question, and certainly should not be taken 
as a basis for dogma. Moreover, DeYoung proposes other explanations for 
the observed redshift, suggesting that these stellar objects may not be receding 
from the earth at all. We simply do not understand enough about the nature 
of space and light to pontificate on these matters. Not only estimates of 
stellar distance, but even the doctrine of an expanding universe could be 
extremely weak. 

Paul Wilt completes the first section of technical papers by explaining 
the evolutionist consensus concerning "nucleosynthesis" (how the universe 
moved from the initial explosion stage to the existence of individual elements) 
and stellar evolution, and the weakness of this consensus. 

The second section of papers focuses on the solar system. The first 
paper, Paul M. Steidl's "Planets, Comets, and Asteroids," offers a delightful 
tour of the planetary system. Not only does Steidl bring together many pieces 
of information with which I was unfamiliar, but he also is not afraid to point 
out those facts that pose problems for creationism. 

The other three papers in the section deal with the sun. Whereas Paul 
Wilt's "Nucleosynthesis" treated the evolutionist scheme of stellar evolution, 
Hilton Hinderliter's informative but simple "The Shrinking Sun" and Steidl's 
"Solar Neutrinos and a Young Sun" deal with another evolutionist doctrine: 
solar fusion. After challenging the generally accepted fact that stars are 
"fusion furnaces," Hinderliter and Steidl discuss alternate explanations for 
sunlight, such as energy released by gravitational contraction. The main 
reason these explanations have been rejected appears to be that they make 
the solar system too young to fit evolutionary hypotheses. Fusion, however, 
is not an acceptable explanation, making young-sun explanations all the 
more likely. Hinderliter finishes the section with "Short-Term Changes in the 
Sun," discussing other solar phenomena with chronological imphcations. 

Completing the book is John C. Whitcomb's "A Scriptural Frame- 
work for Astronomy" (also available separately from BMH Books). This 
finale is properly placed. As George Mulfinger's opening article, "A Teleo- 
logical Study of the Universe," sets forth the correct perspective for viewing 
astronomical data — that is, recognizing intelligent design in the observed 
phenomena — and so properly introduces technical papers containing the data, 
so Whitcomb's article makes the transition between the papers and further 
research by setting forth fundamental, biblical axioms for that research. It 
should be beginning reading for every Christian astronomer. 

Two things must be said about this book. First, the subject is fascinating 
and the treatment valuable. All Christian leaders, if they have any familiarity 
with astronomy and/ or physics, will profit from its contribution to the 
creation/ evolution debate. At the very least, reading it will acquaint them 
with the major issues in the matter of cosmogony. It will also question 
many assumptions that many have accepted as dogma, such as stellar evolu- 
tion, distance measurement via redshift, black holes (which exist only as 
a mathematical construct; none have been found), and even stellar fusion. 
For its contribution to clarity in the present controversy, the book is highly 


At the same time, it should be noted that the book is not a polished 
work. Some of the material was transplanted from the Creation Research 
Society Quarterly, and although the preface says that the material was 
modified to fit the present book, occasionally the reader will find a few items 
that escaped the refitting (such as references to "this journal" [pp. Ill, 118] 
and the failure to mention that a referenced article is in the present book 
beginning on p. 107 [n. 1, p. 131]). 

More importantly, there is no general introduction of terms for the 
nontechnical reader. Microstates, for example, appears on p. 27 with no 
definition, although it clearly has technical meaning. The term cosmological 
principle is used on p. 13 without a definition and is not explained until p. 52, 
but then anthropic cosmological principle appears on p. 60 with quite a 
different meaning. Some kind of orientation, or at least a glossary, would 
have been helpful. 

Furthermore, the book appears to have been very poorly edited. Typo- 
graphical errors abound, as do mistakes in typesetting style. Periods fre- 
quently vanish, commas appear in place of periods in one set of endnotes, 
and at least one footnote and part of another have been lost completely 
(nn. 14, 15, p. 104). Occasionally there is a barbarism such as "the existence 
of compounds related to life are nonexistent on Mars" (p. 86), which should 
have been caught by a copy-editor. Table 1 on p. 1 15 is laid out in such a way 
that its meaning is obscured. These problems should not deter anyone from 
reading the book, but the reader should be warned that there are rough 
waters ahead. The publishers would be well advised to correct the problems 
in a later printing. 

By placing his "A Teleological Study of the Universe" first in the book, 
editor Mulfinger makes it clear that he does not expect the collection to 
change the minds of evolutionists. The world may well be immunized by now 
against the teleological argument for the existence of God; to secular minds, 
an ordered universe may suggest but will not prove a Creator. 

Nevertheless, the book does perform two important functions. First, it 
provides for creationist readers a rare source of information concerning the 
weaknesses of commonly held scientific opinion. Thus it should enable better 
communication with those to whom such opinion is treasured belief, and it 
should also reassure those who, conscious of their own ignorance, are troubled 
by evolutionist questions. Second, it exposes and clears away some false 
assumptions that block fruitful investigation. With these obstacles cleared 
away, perhaps we may get on with finding out how the universe really works. 

" Michael Spence 

Nashville, TN 

Keep In Step With the Spirit, by J. I. Packer. Old Tappan: Revell, 1984. 
Pp. 301. $11.95. 

In this volume J. I. Packer gives a careful and balanced approach to the 
person and ministry of the Holy Spirit. The work is not a dry, dusty reflec- 
tion upon the Spirit, but a stirring call to the church to life in the Spirit. 


Given the contemporary emphasis on the Spirit in so many different com- 
munities of faith, the book addresses timely concerns. Packer is concerned 
with theological precision, yet he has a sympathetic understanding of those 
outside his theological tradition. 

Packer sets the stage for his work with a brief survey of the biblical texts 
that focus upon the Spirit. In no way does he attempt to interact with 
contemporary biblical scholarship in this area since that would be outside the 
scope of his study. While it is written in such a way that the lay person can 
read and profit from the work, its historical analysis is also valuable for the 

After setting the stage, Packer moves carefully through the Augustinian, 
Wesleyan, and Keswick traditions and their various approaches to the spiri- 
tual life. It is noticeable that this life is primarily understood in individual 
rather than in corporate terms. Packer finds the emphases upon perfectionism 
and second blessing in the Wesleyan and Keswick communities lacking in 
biblical support. He opts for the Augustinian tradition as a more biblical 
approach, supporting this by his exegesis of Rom 7:14-25 in the Appendix. 
Even though he works within the Augustinian tradition, he is not afraid to 
shy away from some of its aspects which minimize the importance of the 
Spirit. Packer affirms that people have found help in each of these approaches 
to the spiritual life, but acknowledges that long term renewal is not char- 
acteristic of the Wesleyan or Keswick approaches due to the frustration that 
develops in the lives of believers seeking a life characterized by perfection and 
then continually finding themselves struggling with the problem of indweUing 

The final chapters are summaries and evaluations of the contemporary 
charismatic movement and its approach to spirituality. Packer is quick to 
note positive aspects that have impacted people across denominational and 
theological lines. He is appreciative of the simple faith and the emphasis upon 
every-member ministry, body life, and freedom in worship. Yet he fails to see 
conclusive evidence of the need for sign gifts today. He also questions whether 
true renewal has taken place not only because there is a lack of genuine 
theological reflection and maturity but also (and primarily) because there is a 
lack of a sense of the holiness of God which brings understanding of sinful- 
ness and the need for repentance. Packer traces renewals throughout the 
Bible and Church history and finds that the emphasis is characteristically 
upon the holiness of God. 

In his summary. Packer finds parallels between the "baptism in the 
Spirit" in the charismatic movement and the "second blessing" or "second 
experience" (which has many names) in Wesleyan and Keswick circles. He 
affirms the need for understanding the primary ministry of the Spirit as that 
which brings life and magnifies the person and work of Christ. 

There are many helpful aspects of Packer's writing, and it would be 
impossible to enumerate them here. Of the few weaknesses, the most impor- 
tant is Packer's lack of emphasis on the corporate ministry of the Spirit (see, 
e.g., his exegesis of Eph 5:18). But the strengths certainly surpass any weak- 
nesses or other reservations that I might have. The book is a model for 
interacting with positions other than one's own and for evaluating them 


honestly. All who work through this book will benefit, whether or not they 
find themselves in agreement with Packer's conclusions. It is a positive sign 
to see Evangelicals doing work in Pneumatology. One might also see Richard 
Lovelace, Dynamics of Spiritual Life. I hope there are more to follow. The 
book deserves wide reading by those in the church and in the classroom. 

David S. Dockery 
Criswell Center for Biblical Studies 

John Wydiffe, the Dawn of the Reformation, by David Fountain. Southamp- 
ton, England: Mayflower Christian Books, 1984. Pp. 133. $4.50. Paper. 

This profusely illustrated and very interesting book was published in 
1984 to commemorate the 600th anniversary of Wycliffe's death. Author 
David Fountain is a graduate of Oxford University, where he studied under 
Kenneth B. MacFarlane, who wrote John Wydiffe and English Nonconfor- 
mity. The influence of the professor upon his student is evident throughout 
Fountain's work, and in places he appears to have paraphrased his mentor 
rather closely. 

Fountain's objective is to present Wycliffe's life and thought in a reason- 
able manner and to emphasize the heroic stature of his subject in such a way 
as to elicit a profound appreciation for Wycliffe's contributions to the evan- 
gelical faith. In this pursuit Fountain has succeeded well. He has produced a 
popular, devotional biography which is well worth reading. 

Since Fountain did not write for scholars, it probably is not fair to 
criticize his lack of scholarly methodology. Since many readers of GTJ are 
scholars who want an academic appraisal of books reviewed, it seems appro- 
priate, nevertheless, to comment on this matter. Fountain's work appears to 
be based on extensive reading in primary sources. The book, however, is 
almost completely lacking in documentation, although helpful excerpts from 
Wycliffe's writings are woven skillfully into the narrative, and chap. 12 offers 
selections from his sermons. Those who might wish to read the reformer's 
own works would be frustrated by the absence of references cited. In a 
popular biography this would not ordinarily be a major problem, but this 
work propounds a rather unconventional thesis, and if the author expects 
scholars to give his view a respectful hearing, he should document his argu- 
ment thoroughly. 

The thesis of this book is that Wycliffe was the first of the truly evan- 
gelical reformers in England, and that he "did more than any other man to 
change the course of English history" (p. 12). Fountain contends specifically 
that Wycliffe exerted a more powerful influence upon the English Reforma- 
tion than did Martin Luther. That is, Wycliffe was the actual father of the 
Reformation in his homeland. This is an intriguing argument, one which the 
author has pursued vigorously. In order to substantiate it to scholars, how- 
ever, he will have to supply copious documentation. I have published an 
examination of Luther's influence upon the first generation of English Protes- 
tants {Luther's English Connection [Milwaukee: Northwestern, 1979]) and 


am somewhat skeptical about Fountain's conclusion. In any case, to establish 
his position he needs to present his evidence in verifiable form. 

Although Wycliffe taught many doctrines which would later be regarded 
as Protestant, Fountain's assertion that the early English reformer taught 
justification sola fide is open to question. Most interpreters have contended 
that Wycliffe did not espouse the later Protestant understanding of this mat- 
ter. Fountain has quoted passages from Wycliffe which appear to express the 
principle of justification through faith alone, but the quotations are un- 
documented, and as they stand they leave the question unresolved. The issue 
is not whether Wycliffe held to sola fide, but how he understood the nature 
of justification. Did he see it as a forensic transaction in which God declares 
sinners righteous entirely without regard to human contributions, or did he 
view justification as a process related to sanctification in the manner of St. 
Augustine? It is clear that Fountain thinks Wycliffe taught forensic justifica- 
tion through the imputed righteousness of Christ, but to persuade scholars he 
will have to present more evidence. 

The above reservation notwithstanding, John Wycliffe, the Dawn of the 
Reformation is a thoroughly interesting book which deserves a wide reader- 
ship. The author is a zealous evangelical whose fervor for the cause of Christ 
is evident throughout the book. The style is quite attractive, even though 
there are some errors of grammar, such as the failure to maintain agreement 
in number between nouns and pronouns (e.g., "parliament"/ "they"). The 
brief bibliography would be of greater value if it included full data on all 

James E. McGoldrick 
Cedarville College 

Arno C. Gaebelein, 1861-1945: Irenic Fundamentalist and Scholar, by 
David A. Rausch. New York and Toronto: Edwin Mellen, 1983. Pp. 297. 

David Rausch of the Ashland Theological Seminary has written a very 
personal and readable account of A. C. Gaebelein. Many are familiar with 
Gaebelein and his son Frank's work with the Stony Brook School. However, 
this publication will give the academic community at large the opportunity to 
become acquainted with this important American fundamentalist in the early 
part of this century. 

Rausch examines the important formative years when Gaebelein, from 
his German Methodist background, grew in his concern for the Jewish people. 
He traces that development to the founding of the periodical Our Hope, a 
work that Gaebelein edited for almost a half century. The changes that took 
place in Gaebelein's theology in the early years of his editorship are discussed 
in light of Gaebelein's situation and circumstances in life. Rausch carefully 
explains Gaebelein's move to dispensationalism, which was foundational for 
his becoming a leading fundamentalist spokesman and statesman. 

While genuinely irenic, Gaebelein was nonetheless intolerant of any form 
of liberalism and used his editor's position in Our Hope to communicate his 


growing cancern over liberalism in American theology. Yet, Rausch is quick 
to note that while Gaebelein was eager to involve himself in the theological 
squabbles of his day, he was more concerned to address himself to the exposi- 
tion of Holy Scripture about the person and work of Jesus Christ. It was this 
devotional tone which set the stage for his analysis of liberal theology. Equally 
important was his articulation of dispensational eschatology. At this stage in 
history, Gaebelein was perhaps the finest theologian in dispensational ranks, 
with Chafer and Scofield looking to him for guidance. Gaebelein was respon- 
sible for a major portion of the initial Scofield study notes in the popular 
reference Bible. 

The final chapters paint Gaebelein's involvement in conservative politics. 
His anti-communism is misunderstood by many and even posited by some as 
the basis for a supposed anti-semitism. Yet, nothing could be further from 
the truth, for Gaebelein sincerely loved the Jew and had a burning desire for 
the establishment of the nation of Israel. He looked forward to the establish- 
ment of the nation of Israel as much as any person during his lifetime. Sadly, 
Gaebelein died prior to the 1948 establishment of Israel. The closing chapters 
also show Gaebelein's concern for Jews who suffered in the Holocaust during 
the Second World War. His insights into the happenings in Germany at this 
time are striking when compared with the general naivety of others. 

The personal side of the book is found in a section containing several 
photos from the family album and three lengthy accounts of conversations 
with Frank Gaebelein concerning his family life, his father's involvement in 
ministry, and the controversial years. These conversations are a unique con- 
tribution to a work of this type. The book is worth purchasing for these 
accounts alone. This is not to detract from the fine historical analysis offered 
by Rausch of one of fundamentalism's truly great leaders. Students inter- 
ested in American Christianity and in the background of today's evangelical- 
fundamentalist movement will find this volume very helpful. Compared with 
other recent volumes tracing the early fundamentalist movement (Timothy 
Webber, George Marsden, and others), this account is more balanced and 
sympathetic. Edwin Mellen Press is to be congratulated for including this 
volume in its series on Religion in America. I trust that there will be similar 
volumes of equal quality added to this fine series. Yet, I hope that the price 
can be reduced on future volumes. 

David S. Dockery 
Criswell Center for Biblical Studies 

Leadership: The Dynamics of Success, by Cyril J. Barber and Gary H. Strauss. 
Greenwood, S.C: The Attic Press, 1982. Pp. 126. $4.95. Paper. 

The authors admit in the introduction that the concept of leadership has 
not been adequately defined, and they suggest that their contribution is the 
presentation of leadership as a process rather than a collection of desirable 
characteristics. This reviewer's disappointment began with p. 4 where the 
authors state their intention to describe two primary styles of leadership and 
then to suggest a third as a desirable combination and improved approach to 


leadership. The first leadership style is the "repressive-compulsive" type, later 
explained as involving an overemphasis on the intellect (cognition, volition) 
with too small a place for emotion or sensitivity to people. The second 
leadership style is the "emotional-impulsive" type, later described as not devot- 
ing enough attention to cognitive factors in decision-making. The third 
approach, the "rational congruent," involves a legitimate balancing of the two 
previous extremes. 

Chaps. 3-8 amplify the basic premise outlined above by reviewing how 
Adam's sin so corrupted our nature that we are off balance and tend to 
overemphasize either the intellectual or the emotional. This reviewer was 
looking for practical suggestions for improving leadership skills and found 
very little of benefit in these chapters. In addition there were several areas of 
minor theological or exegetical concern. For example, the word "soul" was 
used ambiguously in several contexts. An illustration may be found on p. 55 
where the authors imply that Gen 2:7 is proof that man is composed of body 
and soul. Likewise, it requires a very selective use of the biblical data to imply 
that Jesus always accepted people, tolerated their imperfections, and per- 
sistently developed all that was worthwhile in them (pp. 110, 113). There are 
also hints of the possibility of some mystical ministry of the Holy Spirit who 
makes us more competent as managers (p. 37) by forewarning us of pending 
events by means of an inner prompting (p. 1 1 1). This reviewer cannot find 
biblical warrant for such a ministry of the Spirit with believers. 

I do wish to commend the material found on pp. 5-24 (part of chap. 1, 
the Introduction, and all of chap. 2), which highlights the problems faced in 
management by pointing to man's basic needs for acceptance (belongingness), 
affirmation (worth), and actualization (competence), and by illustrating the 
destructive cycles of decline caused by poor management. In reading this 
material I found a brief section which perfectly described me and my own 
frustrations — as well as descriptions of several of my colleagues! 

Charles R. Smith 
Grace Theological Seminary 

Biblical Preaching: An Expositor's Treasury, ed. by James W. Cox. Phila- 
delphia: Westminster, 1983. Pp. 372. $19.95. 

The concept behind this volume is one which has appealed to this 
reviewer for some time. It strives to examine each of the major sections of the 
Bible from a twofold perspective, and each of the 20 chapters of the book 
follows a similar format. Each chapter begins with hermeneutical and ex- 
egetical matters relevant to the Scripture portion being considered; this is 
followed by examples of, or suggestions toward, homiletical studies from 
selected passages within that Scripture portion. Over 200 biblical texts receive 
some type of direct comment and homiletical suggestions. Although some of 
these are quite brief, others are more detailed and should stimulate the 
preacher's mind. A full index of Scripture references is also a definite asset to 
the book. 


The editor of the volume is Professor of Christian Preaching at Southern 
Baptist Theological Seminary, and seven of the other 17 contributors are 
either past or present professors at the same seminary. Other institutions 
represented are: Union Theological Seminary, Cambridge University, Virginia 
Theological Seminary, Princeton Theological Seminary, Anderson School of 
Theology, Virginia Union University, Toronto School of Theology, University 
of Zurich, Harvard Divinity School, and Lexington Theological Seminary. In 
view of the background of the authors, the editor's observation in the Introduc- 
tion about one of the underlying assumptions of the book is understandable: 
"The historical-critical method is essential to a thorough understanding of the 
text in its present significance." 

Nine chapters of the book deal with the OT. These are concerned with 
the subject of preaching from the "Primeval Narratives of Genesis," "Patri- 
archs," "History of the Exodus Wanderings and the Settlement," "Narratives 
of the Monarchy," "Wisdom Literature," "Psalms," "Isaiah, Jeremiah, and 
Ezekiel," "Minor Prophets," and "Daniel, Ruth, Esther, and the Song of 
Songs." These chapters extend from pages 17-168. Thus, less than half of the 
book is devoted to the OT, which is three-fourths of the Bible. Additionally, 
the OT is generally more abused in much of contemporary preaching than is 
the NT. Therefore, it needs more depth of treatment and not less, as is the 
case in this volume. 

Eleven chapters of the book deal with the NT. These deal with the 
subject of preaching from the "Synoptic Gospels," "Birth of Jesus," "Sermon 
on the Mount," "Miracle Stories of the Gospels," "Parables," "Passion and 
Resurrection Narratives," "Fourth Gospel," "Luke-Acts," "Pauline Epistles," 
"Hebrews and the General Epistles," and "Eschatological Texts." The first 
seven of these NT chapters and half of the eighth deal with material in the 
four Gospels. The chapters dealing with preaching from the NT extend from 
pages 169-368, with the chapters devoted to the Gospels covering from 
pp. 169-305. Thus, about half of the NT, Romans-Revelation, is considered 
in only 63 pages. 

The volume has a few errors of fact in it. On p. 39 Abraham's dishonesty 
about Sarah being his sister is said to be in Gen "12; 20; and 26." In actuality, 
ch. 26 deals with Isaac, not Abraham. On p. 63 a section of the book of 
Joshua is said to extend from 23:1-26:28. In reaHty, Joshua ends at 24:33. On 
p. 215 the reference given twice as Matt 5:21-28 should instead be 5:21-48. 
On p. 253 the word speaks is misspelled "spseaks." 

The higher critical views of the author are disconcerting to this conserva- 
tive reviewer. Several examples of this are: "Genesis 1:1 -2:4a is generally 
regarded as Priestly material" which "was completed by 500 B.C." (p. 18); 
"The Yahwist editor and later the Priestly editor wrote to teach ..." (p. 39); 
"The JEP narrative begins in Genesis with the myths of the Garden of Eden 
and the Tower of Babel" (p. 55). The biblical section that includes "Ex. 25- 
31; Lev.; Num. 1-10" is said to have "little homiletical material" except 
for Lev 19:18 which is quoted by Christ (p. 59). "Proto-Isaiah, Deutero- 
Isaiah, and Trito-Isaiah" are seen on p. 1 19, along with "Deutero-Zechariah" 
on p. 140. "The Book of Daniel was written ca. 165 B.C." (p. 152), and has 
"historical inaccuracies" (p. 153). Source criticism, form criticism, and redac- 
tion criticism are approved in the chapters that deal with the Gospels. In 


chap. 12 the author says that "The church has squandered much of its time 
and energy in such contrived issues as 'the battle of the Bible' " (p. 228). In 
chap. 13 the author states that "we must recognize the process through which 
the miracle stories of the Gospels have passed in the passage from the actual 
event with its eyewitnesses, through the preaching and witnessing of the 
believing community, to the final form as it passed through the theological 
alembic of the mind of the redactor" (p. 231). Redaction criticism influences 
chap. 14's understanding of the parables when, for example, Matthew's con- 
textual use of the parable of the lost sheep (Matt 18:12-14) "is scarcely what 
Jesus wanted to say when he created it" (p. 256). The "seven last words" of 
Christ on the cross are said in chap. 16 to "best be regarded as traditional or 
redactional articulations of the original 'loud cry' of Mark 15:37" (p. 292). 
Further examples could be given, but these are sufficient to show the theo- 
logical perspective of the book. 

The goal of the book is to provide help to the preacher on each section 
of the Bible. Unfortunately, from a theologically conservative perspective, the 
goal was not attained. Although a pastor will find some good preaching 
suggestions and helpful ideas in this volume, the time spent in searching for 
them would probably be better expended in more conservative literature. 

A volume following this type of approach, from a theologically conserva- 
tive viewpoint, would be a valuable aid to preaching. It should vary from this 
present volume in that a larger proportion of material should be devoted to 
the OT and a more even distribution should be achieved in the NT books. 

R. Larry Overstreet 
Grace Theological Seminary 

Abortion and the Christian, by John Jefferson Davis. Phillipsburg: Presby- 
terian and Reformed, 1984. Pp. 125. $4.95. Paper. 

In the years that have elapsed since the Supreme Court's infamous 1973 
Roe versus Wade abortion decision, books upon books, booklets upon book- 
lets have been written on the abortion issue. It would seem that by now all 
has been said on the issue in every conceivable way, but such is not the case. 
John Jefferson Davis's Abortion and the Christian approaches the issue in a 
new and fresh way. In a mere 102 pages of text, Davis examines the social 
(chap. 1), ethical (chap. 2), medical (chap. 3), biblical (chap. 4), and legal 
(chap. 6) aspects of the abortion issue and does so in a thought-provoking, 
easily understandable manner. The book contains ample documentation (214 
endnotes) from original sources (legal, medical, and theological journals) and 
a good bibliography along with an appendix of pro-life resources. Although 
the book is short and not comprehensive, it is the best effort this reviewer has 
yet to see of a Christian introduction to the abortion controversy. 

After setting forth the current state of affairs regarding abortion-on- 
demand in the U.S., Davis explores three of the leading ethical posi- 
tions regarding the abortion decision: (1) Joseph Fletcher's situation ethics, 
(2) Norman Geisler's hierarchicalism, and (3) the "life of the mother only" 
exception (better named the "self-defense" exception). He concludes this 


discussion with a summary which contains this statement, "the key issue in 
the abortion debate concerns the personal status of the unborn child. Is the 
developing fetus a 'person' in the usual sense of the term?" Davis thinks, 
judging from the lengths to which he goes to in developing the "fetus is a 
person" thesis (chap. 5), that if one can prove this point all discussion is over. 
However, for this reviewer, such a position is untenable, not only for Davis, 
but for all pro-lifers who argue for fetal personhood. It is untenable because 
it misses the point. No definition of "personhood," either sociological or 
theological, can be met by a 2-week old zygote or even a 10-week old 
embryo/ fetus. The real question is, "Is it human life?" If so, it deserves 
protection because the medical fact is that human life is a continuum from 
conception until death. To kill an elderly man, an eight-year-old child or a 
newly conceived zygote is to take human life and this is severely condemned 
in Scripture. 

To argue the pro-life position by means of the "fetus is a person" argu- 
ment is to play by the rules of the opponent in a rigged game. Davis himself 
admits that this type of argument is neither convincing nor conclusive when 
he states, "a culture's perception of personhood can change" (p. 60). This 
admission shows that were one to "prove" the personhood of the fetus, the 
abortionists could simply come up with a new rule for determining personal 
and human value. Also, on p. 62 in his summation, Davis admits that "Scrip- 
ture does not appear to provide strict proof for the personhood of the un- 
born." In other words, nothing was proved. Now, this is not to say that 
Davis' argumentation is not cogent, because it is. It is rather to say that the 
whole point is moot. 

In stark contrast to the futility of the "fetus is a person" argument, Davis 
has given the church a beginning but meaningful look at where a biblical 
pro-life argument should really be grounded — in the sanctity of God-created 
human life (p. 35ff.) and in the biblical concept of what Davis terms "the 
psycho-physical unity of man created in the Imago Dei" (pp. 40, 52ff.). 

This latter concept has been almost totally overlooked in Christian writ- 
ing on abortion. If it can be shown, as Davis begins to do (although the topic 
needs a more in-depth and exegetical-theological examination), that human 
life is a unity, i.e., if man as a living soul is body and soul in unity, then the 
taking of one (physical life) involves the taking of the other (soul or spiritual 
life). There can then be no dichotomy between fetus and person. If there is a 
fetus there is an entire human being. Here the matter of the traducian view of 
the origin of the soul should be further explored. 

Davis's arguments in developing a biblical view of human life are often 
based on inferences carefully drawn from texts. Accordingly, he builds a 
formidable case. He is to be commended in this regard. 

Davis has done a real service to pastors and involved Christian laymen. 
If there is one missing ingredient, however, it is that the book lacks a detailed 
agenda and rationale for Christian pro-life involvement. In this regard Davis's 
book manifests the main problem in the Christian church regarding the abor- 
tion issue. Most Christians know abortion is wrong. Most Christians know 
the Bible condemns it. But it all ends there because most Christians do 
nothing about it. Abortion and the Christian ably presents a biblical and 


theological basis for a Christian anti-abortion stance, but it does not help to 
translate a theological conviction into action. It would have been appropriate 
for Davis to continue his cogent writing by outlining a sane, responsible 
Christian agenda for working against this shame in our nation. However, he 
does list ten different pro-life groups (with addresses) so that concerned 
readers can follow up on their own. Franky Shaeffer in his book, A Time for 
Anger, has set forth such an agenda but his tactics have been largely (and 
possibly mistakenly) rejected by the Christian general public as being too 
radical. Thus the church still waits for a respected Christian leader to take up 
the pro-life banner and lead the sleeping evangelical church community into 
an agenda of responsible Christian opposition to abortion. 

Jeff Guimont 
Grace Brethren Church, Flora, Indiana 

Books Reviewed 


Carson, D. A., Exegetical Fallacies (Jefi Guimont) 125 

LaRondelle, Hans K., The Israel of God in Prophecy: Principles of Prophetic 

Interpretation (David L. Turner) 126 


Allen, Leslie C, Psalms 101-150, Word Biblical Commentary (Richard D. 

Patterson) 129 

Coats, George W., Genesis with an Introduction to Narrative Literature 

(George L. Klein) 130 


Bruce, F. F., The Epistles to the Colossians, to Philemon, and to the Ephesians, 
NICNT (Homer A. Kent, Jr.) 131 

NiDA E. A., Louw, J. P., Snyman, A. H., and Cronje, J. V. W., Style and 
Discourse, With Special Reference to the Greek New Testament (David Alan 
Black) 133 


Allen, Ronald B., The Majesty of Man: The Dignity of Being Human (Trevor 

Craigen) 135 

Chapman, Colin, The Case for Christianity (Gary R. Habermas) 136 

Davis, John Jefferson, Foundations of Evangelical Theology, Handbook of 

Basic Bible Texts, and Theology Primer {David S. Dockery) 138 

Erickson, Millard J., Christian Theology, vol. 2 (David S. Dockery) 140 

Gorman, G. E. and Gorman, Lyn, Theological and Religious Reference Mate- 
rials, vols. 1 and 2 (Robert Ibach) 142 

JiJNGEL, Eberhard, God as the Mystery of the World: On the Foundation of 
the Theology of the Crucified One in the Dispute between Theism and 

Atheism (John D. Morrison) 143 

MoREY, Robert A., Death and the Afterlife {GdiTy R. Habermas) 146 

MuLFiNGER, George, Jr., ed.. Designs and Origins in Astronomy (Michael 

Spence) 149 

Packer, J. L, Keep in Step with the Spirit (David S. Dockery) 151 


Fountain, David, John Wycliffe, The Dawn of the Reformation (James E. 

McGoldrick) ! 153 

Rausch, David A., Arno C. Gaebelein: Irenic Fundamentalist and Scholar 

(David S. Dockery) 154 


Barber, Cyril J., and Strauss, Gary H., Leadership: The Dynamics of Success 
(Charles R. Smith) 155 

Cox, James W., Biblical Preaching: An Expositor's Treasury (R. Larry Over- 
street) 156 

Davis, John Jefferson, /4feorno« anrf r/ie C/im//a« (Jeff Guimont) 158 




Volume? No 2 Fall 1986 

Grace Theological Journal 

Published Semiannually by 

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Grace Theological Journal began semiannual publication in 1980 superseding the 
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ISSN 0198-666X. Copyright © 1986 Grace Theological Seminary. All rights reserved. 


Volume 7 No 2 Fall 1986 


The Problem of the Literary Structure of Hebrews: An 

Evaluation and a Proposal 163 


The Reorganization of Princeton Theological 

Seminary Reconsidered 179 


Woman's Desire for Man: 
Genesis 3:16 Reconsidered 203 


The "Fuller Meaning" of Scripture: A Hermeneutical 
Question for Evangelicals 213 


C. H. Spurgeon, Biblical Inerrancy, 
and Premillennialism: A Review Article 229 


That You May Believe: A Review Article 235 


Book Reviews (see inside back cover) 245 

Books Received 267 

Grace Theological Journallndex 1980-1985 281 

Ed. by PAUL D. PETERSEN and david l. turner 

Theses and Dissertations at Grace Theological Seminary, 

1986 317 


David Alan Black 

Grace Graduate School, 3625 Atlantic Avenue, Long Beach, CA 

Irvin a. Busenitz 

Masters College, P.O. Box 878, 21726 Placcita Canyon Road, 
Newhall,CA 91321 

Ronald T. Clutter 

Grace Theological Seminary, 200 Seminary Dr., Winona Lake, 
IN 46590 

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Cedarville College, Box 601, Cedarville, OH 45314 

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Grace Theological Seminary, 200 Seminary Dr., Winona Lake, 
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Grace Theological Seminary, 200 Seminary Dr., Winona Lake, 
IN 46590 

Grace TheologicalJournall .2 {19S6) 163-77 





David Alan Black 

The literary structure of the Epistle to the Hebrews is uniquely 
complex. In a writing so multifaceted, where topics are foreshadowed 
and repeated, differences of opinion must inevitably arise regarding the 
precise divisions of the argument. This essay examines three specific 
approaches to the structure of Hebrews: the traditional view, which 
divides the epistle into doctrinal and practical parts; the detailed 
literary analysis of A. Vanhoye; and the "patchwork" approach, which 
follows the changing themes of the letter from chapter to chapter 
without submitting every detail to one overriding theory of structure. 
Though each approach has its strengths, Vanhoye 's offers the clearest 
analysis of the epistle. Detecting an intricate theme woven in an 
intricate style, he sets his analysis on a firmer base as part of a broad 
literary approach to the epistle. 


LITERARY Structures, to use a scientific analogy, are like those 
mysterious species of fish which live on the ocean floor. As soon as 
they are brought to the surface to be examined, the change in pressure 
is too great for them, and they explode, leaving their investigators in a 
state of frustration and bewilderment. 

This analogy unquestionably applies more to the structure of 
Hebrews than to any other major NT writing.' The common reader 

C. Spicq has voiced a similar opinion: "One's first contact with the Epistle to the 
Hebrews is forbidding. In fact, in all the collection of the NT writings, this letter is, with 
the Apocalypse, the most distant from the literary point of view of our western and 
modern mentality" (my translation) {L'Epftre aux Hebreux [EB; Paris: Lecoffre, 1950] 


may know the picture-gallery of faithful men and women in chap. 11, 
the mysterious name Melchizedek, something of the priestly and 
sacrificial imagery, and possibly certain vivid passages, such as "looking 
unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith," but he may be 
unaware of the total nature of the author's thought. Indeed for many 
Christians the epistle has been reduced to a collection of proof-texts 
and memory-verses — a sort of biblical telephone directory, with chap- 
ter and verse instead of area code and number. 

But if the common man has found it diflflcult to follow the author's 
movement of thought in Hebrews, the NT specialist has not fared any 
better. The study of the structure of Hebrews has followed a course like 
that of the Meander itself. With the passing of time, a sufficient 
amount of silt has accumulated to discourage even the most ambitious 
expositor. If the author had a carefully planned structure before him in 
writing, his arrangement is not easily perceived by his more distant 
successors, a fact which no doubt is behind the multitude of proposed 
outlines for the epistle. 

This situation is especially unfortunate in the modern era, which is 
marked by a common recognition that literary insight and perception 
of structure and patterns are absolutely necessary if the NT documents 
are to be adequately understood. Phrases by themselves, or phrases 
strung together randomly, are of relatively little use, a fact known by 
anyone who has visited a foreign country armed only with a dictionary 
and no knowledge of the language. In biblical exegesis, as in general 
linguistics, language is not an accidental junk-pile consisting of a 
haphazard collection of different items. Instead it is more like a jigsaw 
puzzle, where each piece fits into those which surround it, and where 
an isolated piece simply cannot make any sense if it is removed from its 
proper place in the overall pattern. Concisely put, analysis must 
include synthesis if a text is to be fully appreciated. A thorough-going 
structural treatment is therefore essential if for no other reason than it 
enables the expositor to understand how a NT author has composed 
his work and how each part fits the whole. 

The literary structure of Hebrews is uniquely complex. In a 
writing so multifaceted, where topics are naturally foreshadowed and 
repeated, differences of opinion must inevitably arise as to the precise 
divisions of the argument. Some very specific — and novel — suggestions 
have been put forward to explain the progress of thought in Hebrews, 
and we shall examine some of the more interesting of these in this essay 
(without any risk of the pages exploding before us). 


On the most basic level, Hebrews is understood to consist of two 
main parts of unequal length, 1:5-10:18 and 10:19-13:17. They are 
held together by a brief but polished introduction (1:1-4) and a 

black: the literary structure of HEBREWS 165 

conclusion containing final prayers and benedictions (13:18-21), to 
which is appended a postscript containing further personalia and a 
final brief benediction (13:22-25). The contents of 1:1-10:18 are called 
dogmatic or kerygmatic; the contents of 10:19-13:17 are labelled 
ethical, parenetic, or didactic. 

This idea was well stated by John Brown over a century ago: "The 
Epistle divides itself into two parts — the first Doctrinal, and the second 
Practical — though the division is not so accurately observed that there 
are no duties enjoined or urged in the first part, and no doctrines stated 
in the second."^ Brown goes on to speak of "the great doctrine" and 
"the great duty" of the epistle, referring to the superiority of Chris- 
tianity to Judaism, and the believer's constancy of faith, respectively. 
Shown first is the superiority of Christianity to the angels, through 
whom the law of Moses was given (1:5-2:18); secondly, to Moses 
himself (3:1-4:13); and thirdly, to the Jewish high priest Aaron and his 
ministry (4:14-10:18). Jesus as Son, Apostle, and Great High Priest 
infinitely transcends them all. Thereafter follows the practical applica- 
tion of this truth, which consists first in a general exhortation to faith 
and endurance (10:19-12:25), and secondly in a variety of practical 
exhortations related to the Christian life (13:1-17).^ 

Granted that such a picture of Hebrews needs to be complemented 
by other details, on the whole it is representative of much of conser- 
vative Protestant scholarship today. Homer Kent (1972), Edmond 
Hiebert (1977), and Donald Guthrie (1983) understand the epistle in 
much the same way. Kent, distinguishing the abstract truths of the first 
part of the letter from the admonitions which begin in 10:19, writes: 
"This section of Hebrews consists of a series of exhortations based 
upon the great doctrinal truths set forth previously."'* Hiebert, despite 
his acknowledgment that the doctrinal interest of Hebrews goes hand 
in hand with the practical, divides the epistle into "doctrinal" and 
"practical" parts. ^ Guthrie, a recent commentator on Hebrews, gives 
the following titles to the two parts: "I. The Superiority of the 
Christian Faith. H. Exhortations."^ The latter's opinion on the subject 
is most apparent when he writes on 10:19 that "the application of the 
preceding doctrinal discussion begins here."' For these writers the 

John Brown, An Exposition of the Epistle of the Apostle Paul to the Hebrews 
(New York: Carter and Brothers, 1862) 1. 8. 

'Ibid., 8-9. 

"Homer A. Kent, Jr., The Epistle to the Hebrews (Grand Rapids: Baker, 1972) 197. 

'D. Edmond Hiebert, An Introduction to the New Testament (3 vols., Chicago: 
Moody, 1977)3.92-100. 

^Donald Guthrie, The Letter to the Hebrews (TNTC; Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 
1983) 58-59. 

Ibid., 210; so also Charles R. Erdman, The Epistle to the Hebrews (Philadelphia: 
Westminster, 1934) 20-24. 


proclamation of Christ's supremacy, made during the main doctrinal 
section, prepares the reader for the concluding chapters which focus 
upon the practical consequences of the theological arguments supphed 
earlier. Since the same sequence is also found in many of Paul's letters 
(e.g., Galatians, Romans, Ephesians), even when doctrinal and parene- 
tic elements are intermingled (e.g., 1 Corinthians, 2 Corinthians, 
Philippians, Colossians), the bipartition of Hebrews appears to be a 
balanced and logical conclusion. 

But some modification of this traditional view seems to be under- 
way. What was formerly assumed to be the epistle's kerygmatic first 
part (1:5-10:18) has been shown to be a highly systematic "inter- 
weaving [of] massive argument and earnest exhortation."* Such basi- 
cally hortatory passages as 2:1-4; 3:7-4:11; 4:14-16; and 5:11-6:12 
incline the careful student of Hebrews to regard these passages as 
integral to the main purpose of the author. To label them "digressions" 
or "inserted warnings" is to beg the question of the author's purpose in 
including them in this part of his writing with such frequency. However 
dogmatic and doctrinal the teaching of 1:5-10:18, it stands closely 
related to the exhortations which are interspersed throughout. What, 
then, happened to the kerygma of Hebrews? According to Nauck^ and 
Kiimmel,'" kerygmatic and parenetic elements are so intermingled that 
it is no longer possible to differentiate them. Kiimmel even concluded 
that the hortatory passages which supposedly "interrupt" the epistle 
"are actually the real goal of the entire exposition."'' He suggests that 
the underlying structure of Hebrews is indicated by the parenetic 
passages alone, which stand in parallel form at the beginning and end 
of each of the three main sections of the epistle. This would result in 
the following outline: 

I. Hear the word of God in the Son, Jesus Christ, who is higher than the 

angels and Moses (1:1-4:13). 
II. Let us approach the high priest of the heavenly sanctuary and hold fast 

our confession (4:14-10:31). 
III. Hold fast to Jesus Christ, who is the initiator and perfecter of faith 

'Alexander Purdy, "Hebrews," 75 (Nashville: Abingdon, 1955) 11. 580. 

'W. Nauck, "Zum Aufbau des Hebraerbriefes," Judentum, Urchristentum, Kirche 
(1960) 199-206. 

'"Werner Georg Kiimmel, Introduction to the New Testament (trans. H. C. Kee; 
Nashville: Abingdon, 1975) 390. 

"ibid. Cf. the comment by Otto Michel: "The high point of the theological thought 
lies in the parenetic parts, which exhort the listeners to obedience and seek to prepare the 
church for suffering" (my translation) {Der Brief an die Hebrder [KKNT 13; Gottingen: 
Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, 1975] 27). 

'^Kiimmel, Introduction, 390-92. Michel's outline is very similar (Hebraer, 6): 
L The Speaking of God in the Son and the Superiority of the Son to the Old Covenant 

black: the literary structure of HEBREWS 167 

Thus for Kiimmel, the whole of Hebrews is nothing other than an 
extended epistolary parenesis, consisting of exhortations regarding the 
privileges and responsibilities of the Christian life. 

Kiimmers judgment on the subject is not widely held, but it may 
be the most prudent. As Markus Barth astutely observed with refer- 
ence to the structure of Ephesians, the juxtaposition of indicative and 
imperative (i.e., kerygma and parenesis) may have exhausted its use- 
fulness.'^ Their imposition upon a complicated document like Hebrews 
is as inappropriate as the attempt to measure the length of the Grand 
Canyon with a barometer. Such a method cannot fail to overlook the 
essential nature of the epistle from beginning to end. Floyd Filson in 
particular has declared Heb 13:22 to be the key to the whole epistle and 
its literary structure.''* In the phrase, "my word of exhortation," the 
author of Hebrews gives us the most apt description possible to state 
the nature and purpose of his writing. Hebrews is a written message, 
which sets forth doctrine, not for its own sake, but only to show the 
recipients how great a privilege they have to be related to Christ and 
what an immense loss they would suffer if they should allow anything 
to rob them of their faith in him. With every pronouncement con- 
taining important theological content, the author urges his readers to 
realize how much is at stake in their response to the gospel. The 
doctrinal content of the first ten chapters is therefore not an end in 
itself but merely a means to an end: to exhort these Christians to hold 
fast their faith, confession, and obedience. Hence "we understand 
Hebrews rightly only if we keep the urgent note of exhortation clearly 
before us in all our discussion of the form and meaning of the 

If the traditional view of Hebrews sees in this epistle no more than 
a correspondence of preaching and teaching, of God's activity for man 
and man's good works for God in response, it may miss what the 

(1:1-4:13). II. Jesus the True High Priest (4:14-10:39). III. The Way of Faith of the 
People of God in the Past and the Present (1 1:1-13:25) (my translation). Th. Haering's 
division of the letter is also much the same, though he holds to the partition of Hebrews 
into two (not three) Hauptteile: 1:1-4:13 and 4:14-13:25 ("Gedankengang und Grund- 
gedanken des Hebr," ZNTW 18 [1918] 145-64, esp. 156). 

'^Markus Barth, Ephesians (AB; Garden City, NY: Doubleday & Co., 1974), 
1. 54-55. The criticism of this juxtaposition with regard to Hebrews is found as early as the 
commentary of Hans Windisch {Der HebraerbrieflRNT 14; Tubingen: Mohr, 1931] 8): 
"First of all it must be emphasized that Hebrews cannot be divided into a so-called 
theoretical and a practical part, but rather that the parenesis time and again interrupts 
the flow of the witness to faith and Scripture" (my translation). 

'""Floyd V. Filson, "Yesterday." A Study of Hebrews in the Light of Chapter 13 
(SBT4; Naperville, IL: Allenson, 1967) 16-26. 

'^Ibid., 21. On the extensive sections of Hebrews given over to exhortation he 
writes: "The biblical exposition gives the background and basis for such repeated 
exhortations, but such exposition is not the author's basic interest and purpose" (p. 19). 


epistle intends to say in particular. Scholars who push this juxtaposi- 
tion so far have been unable to avoid questionable methods or to 
answer the objection that this procedure is arbitrary and forced. 
Moreover, the method fails to take into consideration the letter's 
obvious stylistic and rhetorical devices, specifically the recurring use of 
chiasm, hook-words, announcements, etc.'^ But at least one conces- 
sion to this approach is necessary. If the distinction between dogmatic 
and parenetic parts of the letter does not determine its external 
structure, it nevertheless contributes a great deal to the elucidation of 
its contents. For even if the author's main purpose all the way through 
is a supremely practical one, his method of dealing with the diflSculties 
facing his readers is essentially doctrinal: to lay before them the 
permanent significance of Christianity and especially the absolute 
superiority of the person and office of Christ to Judaism. This is the 
heart of the author's subject and can be epitomized in the resounding 
"we have" (indicative mood) of the epistle's key verse: "We have such a 
high priest" (8:1). 


But the most recent research of Albert Vanhoye, the noted Jesuit 
scholar and editor of Biblica, leads us still further. Building upon an 
earlier suggestion of Vaganay, Vanhoye claims to have found in 
Hebrews a carefully constructed chiastic structure, repeatedly inter- 
woven by key words which appear at the beginning of a section and 
then reappear at or very near to the close of the section.'^ For example, 
the mention of "angels" in 1:4 leads into the section on the Son and the 
angels beginning in 1:5. "Angels" appears again in 2:16, where it serves 
to mark off a literary unit by restating at the end what was said at the 
beginning. The structure of Hebrews also includes announcements and 
anticipations on the author's part of subjects that are to be treated. In 
1:4 he announces that Christ has a better name than the angels and 
then explores this theme in 1:5-2:18. In 2:17-18 he states that Christ is 
a merciful and faithful high priest and then treats this topic in 3:1-5:10. 
The subject of 5:11-10:39 — the sacerdotal work of Christ, a priest like 
Melchizedek — is announced in 5:9-10 in the pronouncement that 
Christ was "designated by God as a high priest according to the order 
of Melchizedek." Then, in 10:36-39 he speaks of men of endurance and 
faith, and well illustrates the character of such men in 11:1-12:13. 
Finally, in 12:13 the author exhorts his readers, "make straight paths 

See my discussion of style below. 
"Albert Vanhoye, La structure litteraire de I'Epitre aux Hebreux (Paris: Desclee, 

black: the literary structure of HEBREWS 169 

for your feet," and follows in 12:14-13:18 by urging specific ways by 
which this can be done. 

Vanhoye's analysis has much in its favor and is due more attention 
than it has received. Perhaps the character and weight of his treatment 
would make a more decisive contribution to the identity of the literary 
structure of Hebrews if it were briefly summarized in English. What 
follows are excerpts from Vanhoye's findings occasionally augmented 
by further observations.'* 

The opening division of Hebrews (1:5-2:18) comprises two dog- 
matic sections (1:5-15 and 2:5-18) with a short parenetic section 
between (2:1-4). The first dogmatic section deals with the Son's 
position as God, the second shows his connection with mankind, the 
author's purpose being to show that Christ is both the Son of God and 
the brother of men. Each dogmatic section forms a unity, as indicated 
by the repetition of key expressions at both ends of each passage (cf. 
1:5 and 1:13: "to which of the angels did he ever say?"; 2:5 and 2:16: "it 
is not to angels"). With these statements the author has expressed his 
main thoughts. On the one hand, Jesus Christ is one with God (1:5- 
14); on the other hand, he is one with men (2:5-18). In either case he is 
superior to angels. It is necessary, therefore, to heed what he says 

In 2:17-18 the second main division of the letter is announced. 
For the first time, the author speaks of the priesthood of Christ. Here 
he gives Jesus the title of "high priest" and adds to it two important 
characteristics, "merciful" and "faithful." 

In this new division, 3:1-5:10, the author focuses on both of these 
adjectives, though in reverse order. Jesus is presented first as a faithful 
high priest in matters concerning God, his Father (3:1-4:14), then as a 
high priest who is full of compassion toward men, his brothers (4:15- 
5:10). One can easily see the connection between these two aspects of 
the discussion and what was said in the first division of the letter, where 
the topic was Christ the Son of God (1:5-14) and the brother of men 

In this first subsection, 3:1-4:14, the vocabulary is that of faith: 
"faithful" (3:2, 5); "assurance" (3:14); "believed" (4:3); "faith" (4:2); 
and "unbelief" (3:12, 19). The theme of faith is thus central in this 

'*The literature which has been produced by Vanhoye on this subject is enormous. 
In addition to his seminal monograph cited in the preceding note, see esp. the following: 
Situation du Christ (Paris: Les Editions du Cerf, 1969); "Discussions sur la structure de 
I'Epitre aux Hebreux," Bib 55 (1974) 349-80; "La question litteraire de Hebreux 13, 
1-6," NTS 23 (1977) 121-39; and "Situation et signification de Hebreux 5, 1-10," NTS 
23 (1977) 445-56. Our synopsis of Vanhoye's analysis of the structure of Hebrews is 
based on the author's own summary: "Literarische Struktur und theologische Botschaft 
des Hebraerbriefes (1. Teil)," SNTUA{\919) 119-47. 


section. A short explanation (3:2-6) is followed by a long exhortation 
(3:7-4:14). In the explanation Christ is said to be faithful. The exhor- 
tation brings out the response: we must answer with our faith. In 
4:15-5:10, however, the discussion shifts to Christ as a merciful high 
priest, a theme which emphasizes how far this high priest went to share 
our condition (cf. 5:7-8). Heb 5:9-10 then functions as a transition to 
the third main division of the letter. Here three statements are made 
concerning Christ: (1) he achieved perfection; (2) he is the source of 
eternal salvation to all who obey him; and (3) he has been designated 
by God as a high priest according to the order of Melchizedek. Such 
are the main themes of the longest division of Hebrews, 5:11-10:39. 

This third division is more complex than the others. The author 
declares openly that the explanation of his subject will not be easy 
(5:11), and in a lengthy admonition he warns his readers to pay careful 
attention (5:11-6:20). After this "introduction" the author discusses 
three unique yet interrelated themes, those which he had already 
mentioned in 5:9-10. Section A (7:1-18) considers the person and 
status of the priest. Christ is not a priest according to the order of 
Aaron but according to the new order which was foreviewed in the OT 
in the mysterious Melchizedek (Ps 110:4; Gen 14:18-20). Section B 
(8:1-9:28) considers the process by which this priest can stand before 
God. Christ came to God on the basis of a new offering which brought 
him "perfection." Section C (10:1-18) considers the use to which 
people can put Christ's perfect sacrifice. This offering is perfect in its 
effect: it results in the full forgiveness of sins and the sanctification of 
the believer. Thus in these three sections the author has discussed the 
three essential elements of priestly mediation: the status of the priest, 
his offering, and the application of his sacrifice to the people. This last 
point leads into yet another solemn warning passage (10:19-39). 

The fourth main division of Hebrews is announced in 10:36-39, 
where the word "faith" functions as a hook-word connecting 10:39 
("those who have faith") to 11:1 ("now faith is . . ."). What follows in 
1 1:2-40 is a very graphic picture of the great deeds of those under the 
Old Covenant, as well as a description of those times when their faith 
was tested. At the beginning of chap. 12, however, the emphasis 
changes. The readers are now invited to run with endurance the race 
set before them, following the example of Christ, "who endured the 
cross" (12:1-2). This exhortation to endurance continues to the final 
injunction in 12:13 to "make straight paths for your feet." In the Greek 
text the close connection between this verse and 12:1 is made obvious 
by the author's use of two words which share the same root ("paths" 
and "run"). 

The fifth and final division is introduced to the reader in 12:13. 
The preceding passage concluded with the words, "therefore, strengthen 

black: the literary structure of HEBREWS 171 

Chart 1 
1:1-4 Introduction 

I 1:5-2:18 The Name of Jesus 

A 3:1-4:14 Jesus, Trustworthy High Priest 

B 4:15-5:10 Jesus, Compassionate High Priest 

5:11 -6:20 (PreUminary Exhortation) 

A 7:1-28 According to the Order of Melchizedek 

HI B 8:1-9:28 Perfection Achieved 

C 10:1-18 Source of Eternal Salvation 

10:19-39 (Closing Exhortation) 


A 11:1-40 The Faith of the Men of Old 

B 12:1-13 The Necessity of Endurance 

V 12:14-13:18 Make Straight Paths 

13:20-21 Conclusion 

the hands that are weak and the knees that are feeble. . . ."These 
words are taken from Isa 35:3 and fit well with the theme of endurance. 
Then there follows a statement taken not from Isaiah but from 
Proverbs (4:26): "and make straight paths for your feet." The theme 
thus introduced is not that of endurance but rather one of behavior; 
hence what follows is a series of directives for the Christian life. The 
first sentence of this new division gives the direction in which "the 
paths" should go: "pursue peace with all men, and the sanctification 
without which no one will see the Lord" (12:14). It is instructive that 
just as the first division of Hebrews (1:5-2:18) included a short 
interlude (2:1-4), so also does this division. This short subsection 
(13:1-6) is located between two longer ones, the first emphasizing 
"sanctification" (12: 14-29), the second the communal life of the church 
("peace"; 13:7-18). 

It is difficult to give a coherent picture of the structural com- 
ponents in Vanhoye's analysis because of the enormous amount of 
details which characterizes it. Vanhoye envisages a reconstruction 
totally unlike anything we have seen before, yet one which results in a 
relatively coherent and self-authenticating structure. His general out- 
line of Hebrews, with slight modification, is reproduced in Chart 1.'^ 

'Vanhoye, "Literarische Struktur," 133. 


According to this plan, Hebrews is comprised of five concen- 
trically arranged parts with several subsections^" (see Chart 2). The first 
and fifth parts of Vanhoye's arrangement have only one section apiece, 
while the second and fourth parts have two subsections each. The third 
part, which has three subsections, clearly receives the emphasis. The 
midpoint of this concentric structure is 8:1-9:28, what the author 
himself terms "the point of what we are saying" (8:1). 

Despite its complicated appearance, the fundamental principle of 
Vanhoye's reading of the text is simply that nothing in the discourse 
results from chance. The text is the product of unconscious stylistic 
features as well as those conscious factors of which the author is quite 
cognizant. In sum, Vanhoye's analysis of Hebrews presupposes that 
everything in the text is motivated. 

One recognizes in this epistle the work of a true man of letters whose 
extraordinary talent is enhanced by excellent powers of organization. In 
these pages nothing seems left to chance; on the contrary, the choice of 
words, the rhythm and construction of phrases, the arrangement of 
different themes, all appear to be controlled by the pursuit of a har- 
monious balance in which subtle variations contribute to a wisely 
calculated symmetry.^' 

The analyst should therefore be attentive to significant elements within 
the text that will enable him to bring to light some of its underlying 
structure and symmetry. He should be particularly attentive to the 
stylistic devices in the author's language and composition. These 
factors, when accurately defined, supply important clues for an under- 
standing of the biblical author's purpose in writing. 

Vanhoye's contribution to the study of the structure of Hebrews, 
as important and ground-breaking as it is, has unfortunately suffered 
from those twin enemies of new research — neglect and temerarious 
opinion. Philip Hughes criticizes Vanhoye's research but fails to 
interact with it, stating simply in a footnote: "Vanhoye in his detailed 
study seems to me to err on the side of overstatement and to tend to 
find more stylistic symmetries and literary subtleties than are really 
present. "^^ Kiimmel pronounces his view to be "contrived,""^ but 
offers no evidence to support his verdict. The tendency represented by 
Hughes and Kiimmel to ignore this new treatment is unfortunately 
represented in the majority of the latest commentators on the epistle. 
Bristol (1967), Schierse (1969), Turner (1975), G. Hughes (1979), 


^' Vanhoye, La structure, 11. 
Philip Edgcumbe Hughes, A Commentary on the Epistle to the Hebrews (Grand 
Rapids: Eerdmans, 1977) n. 2. 
"Kummel, Introduction, 390. 

black: the literary structure of HEBREWS 
Chart 2 



B ( 





Jewett (1981), Brown (1982), Morris (1983), and Hagner (1983) all 
register no sign of Vanhoye's influence, though his work appeared in 
1963.^'' Occasionally it is alluded to, only to be passed over. This 
rejection is mainly on the grounds that it makes the study of Hebrews 
more esoteric than it need be, or that it procedes from the fertile 
imagination of the expositor rather than the text itself, both of which 
are highly subjective objections themselves. ^^ 

Neil Lightfoot in his commentary is a notable exception to the 
prevailing attitude, however.^^ His reticence to accept in toto Vanhoye's 
conclusions cannot be equated with an attempt to ignore or dodge the 
issue. Like Vanhoye, Lightfoot pays the unknown author of Hebrews 
high tribute because of the originality of his thought and his art of 
systematic arrangement. The divisions suggested by Vanhoye offer 
plausible solutions to many questions that were often considered 
unanswerable. But to Lightfoot the comprehensiveness of the theory is 
not sufficient to demonstrate its validity: "[Just] because the author 

Lyle O. Bristol, Hebrews: A Commentary (Valley Forge: Judson, 1967); F. J. 
Schierse, The Epistle to the Hebrews (New York: Herder and Herder, 1969); George 
Allen Turner, The New and Living Way (Minneapolis: Bethany Fellowship, 1975); 
Graham Hughes, Hebrews and Hermeneutics (SNTSMS 36; Cambridge: University 
Press, 1979); Robert Jewett, Letter to Pilgrims (New York: Pilgrim, 1981); Raymond 
Brown, Christ Above All (Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity, 1982); Leon Morris, 
Hebrews (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1983); and Donald A. Hagner, Hebrews (San 
Francisco: Harper & Row, 1983). 

^^Cf. the objection of Otto Kuss that "the current evidence of a systematic 
arrangement speaks more of the determination and hypothetical sagacity of the exegete 
in question than of a genuinely intelligible methodicalness of an artificial composition of 
the unknown author" (my translation) {Der Brief an die Hebrder [Regensburg: Pustet, 
1966] 14). Vanhoye's analysis is also open to the minor criticisms voiced by J. Bligh, 
"The Structure of Hebrews," HeyJ 5 (1964) 170 77; Michel, Hebrder, 31-34; and 
J. Swetnam, "Form and Content in Hebrews 1-6," Bib 53 (1972) 368-85. 

^'Neil R. Lightfoot, Jesus Christ Today: A Commentary on the Book of Hebrews 
(Grand Rapids: Baker, 1976). 


makes anticipations and announcements, it does not follow that his 
outline must strictly coincide with his announcements."^^ Although he 
shares Vanhoye's interest in the style of Hebrews, Lightfoot is never- 
theless disposed to follow a more conventional outHne. 

I would venture to suggest that expositors of Hebrews would 
profit immensely from the thoughtful contribution of Vanhoye. If it 
does not enjoy the status of absolute certainty (and what theory does?), 
it should nonetheless be studied as a viable alternative to the more 
traditional interpretation. Elements of careful structure are obvious in 
the epistle, but to recognize them the interpreter must be able to 
identify the formal criteria of literary analysis. The great merit of 
Vanhoye's treatment is that it shows concretely how an understanding 
of structural linguistics can serve the expositor. Lightfoot has pre- 
sented an exhaustive description of the special stylistic devices exhib- 
ited in Hebrews, including chiasm, inclusion, hook-words, and 
announcements. He has shown that precisely the same style is char- 
acteristic of much of the teaching of Jesus, in which traces of inverted 
word order and repetition of thought can be detected. What Vanhoye 
and Lightfoot have done is to set this type of structural analysis on a 
firmer base as part of a broader approach to the NT documents and 
especially to Hebrews. Vanhoye in particular has innovatively drawn 
our attention to the fact that whoever wrote the epistle had been very 
well schooled in the art of composition. In Hebrews, unlike perhaps 
any other NT letter, the special topic treated, the peculiar issues 
involved, and the unique purpose in writing all find their reflection in 
the literary style chosen for addressing the readers. Thus, to ascribe to 
the author the skillful selection and ordering of material along the lines 
of Vanhoye's reconstruction does not seem unwarranted. 

Vanhoye's chief contribution is his demonstration that the epistle 
sets forth an intricate theme by means of an intricate style. Hugh 
Montefiore, practically alone among modern commentators, has 
accepted Vanhoye's study on that basis: "His study carries conviction 
because the structure he proposes appears to have been worked out by 
our author as rigorously as the logic of his Epistle. "^^ There is, 

^'ibid., 50. Bligh ("Structure," 175) also questions "whether a division based on 
purely literary criteria will reveal the conceptual structure of the Epistle." 

^*Hugh Montefiore, A Commentary on the Epistle to the Hebrews (HNTC; New 
York: Harper & Row, 1964) 31. The only other commentator who can be cited in 
support of Vanhoye is George Wesley Buchanan in the Anchor Bible series {To the 
Hebrews [AB 36; Garden City, NY: Doubleday & Co., 1972] x): "The outhne of this 
commentary has been modified in several places to concur with the insights on structure 
published by Albert Vanhoye." In his monograph on the structure of Hebrews Louis 
Dussaut has offered a structural synopsis of Hebrews based essentially on the results of 
Vanhoye's analysis, whose conclusions he has wholeheartedly endorsed with the excep- 
tion that the five divisions offered by Vanhoye (1 + 2 + 3 + 2 + 1) are modified to three 

black: the literary structure of HEBREWS 175 

however, one outstanding difficulty in the scheme of Vanhoye. His 
schematization of the letter exposes many stylistic traits, but his 
method at the same time makes several unwarranted deletions to 
secure perfect symmetry. ^^ In the light of the studies presented by 
Tasker,^" Spicq,^' and Filson^^ in defense of the authenticity of chap. 
13, Vanhoye's conjecture that 13:19 and 13:22-25 were later added to 
the original work can scarcely be accepted. This minor disagreement 
should not, however, detract from Vanhoye's overall contribution to 
the study of Hebrews. His suggestion can only be considered as 
tentative, but the possibility that the epistle follows his reconstruction 
has a great deal to be said for it. 

THE "patchwork" APPROACH 

Unwilling to accept the traditional model and in apparent opposi- 
tion to those engaged in refined literary analyses of Hebrews stand 
authors like F. F. Bruce and Leon Morris. The former treats the usual 
problems of introduction but surprisingly fails to consider the question 
of literary form and structure." The latter understands Hebrews to be 
epistolary rather than sermonic in form but fails to discuss the rami- 
fications of this for his outline of the letter.^'* Both are content to follow 
the chapters and changing themes of the epistle from one aspect to 
another without submitting every detail to one overriding theory of 
structure. For example, Morris subdivides Hebrews into eleven units, 
without marking any main divisions (pp. 13-15). 

In light of the variety of views on the subject of Hebrews's 
structure, an open verdict is perhaps a safe course to follow, and here 
the opinion of Origen on the question of authorship may well be 
applicable. On the other hand, it is difficult to imagine that an author 
of such skill should have failed to illuminate the structure in which his 
epistle was cast. It is, of course, conceivable that he designed his letter 
without any clearly defined thread of thought running through it. But a 
thing is not true because it is conceivable, but because the facts require 
it, and this does not appear to be the case here. There are many 
features of language and style which cannot be passed over so lightly 

(2 + 3 + 2). See Louis Dussaut, Synopse structurelle de I'Epitre aux Hebreux: Approche 
d'analyse structurelle (Paris: Les Editions du Cerf, 1981). 

"Vanhoye, Lm structure, 219-21. 

'°R. V. G. Tasker, "The Integrity of the Epistle to the Hebrews," ^xp 747 (1935-6) 

"C. Spicq, "L'authenticite du chapitre XIII de I'Epitre aux Hebreux," ConNTU 

^^Filson, "Yesterday," 15-16. 

"F. F. Bruce, The Epistle to the Hebrews (NICNT; Grand Rapids, 1964). 

''Morris, Hebrews, 12-13. 


and which imply a much closer liaison between the thought of the 
author and the structure of his writing. It can hardly be maintained, 
therefore, that the author had no design before him while writing 
currente calamo. A writer who has an important message to proclaim 
may be expected to put it in a form more readily understood than this 
approach supposes. Consequently, whatever the merits of a "patch- 
work" outHne, its considerable demerit is that it is achieved at the 
expense of a procedure which cannot commend itself as being in 
accordance with the principles of scientific criticism. 

None of this is meant disparagingly. It simply underscores the 
truism that NT scholarship has been somewhat hesitant to take the 
plunge when it comes to epistolary literary criticism. Some commenta- 
tors give a brief treatment; others give the question of structure no 
separate consideration at all. Some writers would like to think (or give 
the impression) that the outlining of Hebrews is a rapid, simple 
process. The real problem is, of course, far more complex, bewildering, 
and time-consuming. Scholarship stands still in no field, least of all in 
biblical studies, and a facile approach to the structural complexities of 
a document like Hebrews can easily lead to a situation in which one 
sees an amazing number of trees or even tiny plants, but fails to see the 
forest at all. A letter should be viewed in the great sections that 
constitute its whole and not simply in detached portions. 


Summing up this meager review of the structural criticism of 
Hebrews, attention may be drawn to three points. First, the point of 
departure for the discussion of this question today — at least in my 
opinion — must be the thesis of Albert Vanhoye. At least at one point 
his analysis should achieve universal acceptance, namely the insight 
into the obvious stylistic devices employed by the author. Despite a 
weak attack against it, this aspect of his theory has proved its essential 
correctness as attested by Lightfoot, Montefiore, and Dussaut. There 
remains, it is true, a je ne sais quoi of authorship which excludes 
dogmatism or pedantry of any kind. But the detailed literary and 
styhstic investigation attempted by Vanhoye has resulted in the 
amassing of a phalanx of objective literary facts which simply cannot 
be ignored. Even if his study should prove to be factually untenable in 
the present case, the modern exegete should not shrink from a dis- 
creetly handled structural analysis of the text.^^ 

'^Vanhoye's analysis has already led to several helpful studies on the structure of 
specific pericopes in Hebrews. See e.g. P. Auffret, "Note sure la structure litteraire d'Hb 
ii. 1-4," NTS15 (1979) 166-79; W. Schrenk, "Hebraerbrief 4, 14-16. Textlinguistik als 
Kommentierungsprinzip," NTS 26 (1980) 242-52; and P. Auffret, "Essai sur la structure 
litteraire et I'interpretation d'Hebreux 3, 1-6," NTS 26 (1980) 380-96. 

black: the literary structure of HEBREWS 177 

Second, in view of the questionable usefulness of the juxtaposition 
of kerygma and parenesis as a hermeneutical tool, and of the great 
force of the warnings and exhortations found in chaps. 1-10, it may be 
inappropriate to divide the letter based on doctrinal and practical 
distinctions. The epistle presents its dogmatic themes in the function 
not of intellectual instruction but of the encouragement which the 
author seeks to inspire in the face of a crisis. Addressed as it is to a 
specific situation which called for both compassion and correction, 
Hebrews is no mere doctrinal treatise or theoretical essay. To under- 
stand it, or sections of it, in this manner is to miss the spirit of urgency 
which pervades the letter from beginning to end and which motivated 
the author to take up his pen in the first place. 

Finally, even though expositors may continue to disagree among 
themselves as to the exact structure of Hebrews, there is still virtually 
unanimous agreement that illuminating exegesis involves an openness 
and receptivity to the text which are characteristic of the grammatico- 
historical study of the Scripture. In allowing the text to speak for itself 
and the author to be his own interpreter, one observes in Hebrews the 
literary mastery of an author who composed his magnum opus with 
the care of a Michelangelo working on the Sistine Chapel. This is 
obvious from the very first words (1:1-4), whose design is consistent 
with the language set forth throughout the epistle. Does not one get the 
impression that the magnificent prose in what Lightfoot has called "the 
most beautifully constructed and expressive sentence in the New 
Testament"^^ is intended to express not only the general theme of the 
writing but its compositional genre as well? Is it not possible that the 
writer is attempting to declare, at the very opening of his work, that the 
momentous theme which he is setting forth requires a literary style 
unparalleled in its beauty and form?" Perhaps the opening words are 
not an exposition but an invitation, not the apex of the composition 
but the narthex of a great cathedral, whose grandeur and symmetry 
become apparent only to those of us who will enter and attentively 
linger within. Not in the forcing of the structure to the surface, but in 
the submersion of ourselves, is there hope for the future of investiga- 
tion in this fascinating area. 

'^Lightfoot, Jesus Christ Today, 53. 

"For a thorough syntactical, semantical, and rhetorical analysis of Heb 1:1-4, see 
D. A. Black, "Hebrews 1:1-4: A Study in Discourse Analysis," forthcoming in WTJ. 

Grace TheologicalJournan .2 {19^6) 179-201 


Ronald T. Clutter 

The reorganization of Princeton Theological Seminary, leading to 
the withdrawal of J. Gresham Machen, Oswald T Allis, Cornelius Van 
Til, and Robert Dick Wilson, is identified often as a triumph of 
modernism in its conflict with fundamentalism in the churches in the 
1920s. However, a consideration of the situation at Princeton and of 
the events which took place within and outside the institution leads to 
a different conclusion. 

The controversy at Princeton involved evangelical Presbyterians, 
all claiming loyalty to the tradition of the seminary. The conflict arose 
due to competing philosophies of seminary education and differing 
solutions for dealing with liberalism in the denomination. In this 
confrontation, pitting one evangelical faction against another, Prince- 
ton Seminary suffered privately and publicly. The denomination was 
called upon to assist in resolving the problem. The solution enacted by 
the denomination resulted in the departure from the seminary of some 
of the most capable defenders of the evangelical faith . 


AT the centennial celebration of Princeton Theological Seminary in 
1912, institution president, Francis Landey Patton, declared that 
"the theological position of Princeton Seminary has remained un- 
changed."' At the sesquicentennial celebration, Hugh T. Kerr stated: 
"It is no secret that many contemporary professors at the seminary feel 
completely out of touch theologically with their predecessors of a 
generation or more ago on such issues as Biblical criticism, apolo- 
getics, the sacraments, and the interpretation of the Westminster 

Francis Landey Patton, "Princeton Seminary and the Faith," in The Centennial 
Celebration of the Theological Seminary of the Presbyterian Church in the United States 
of America (n.p., n.d.) 354. 


Confession o" Faith. "^ The events which paved the way for this 
significant and precipitous theological shift are the focus of this study. 

The historical background of these events is very familiar. The 
fundamentalist-modernist controversy was at full intensity. The 
Presbyterian Church in the U.S.A. was particularly involved in the 
conflict through its affirmation of the five "essential and necessary 
articles"^ declared by the General Assemblies of 1910, 1916, and 1923. 
A response to the 1923 statement was printed and is known as the 
"Auburn Aflflrmation," a document which served as a challenge to the 
General Assembly regarding the prerogative of that body to impose 
doctrinal interpretation upon the church. To this challenge were 
affixed the signatures of nearly 1300 ministers. 

In the midst of this conflict within the denomination, Princeton 
sought to proclaim the traditional orthodox Presbyterian position. 
The importance of this seminary in the struggle both within the 
denomination and in the larger fundamentalist-modernist controversy 
has been stated by many. Princeton has been called "the intellectual 
center of the fundamentalist reaction to the rise of modernism,"'* "the 
West Point of orthodoxy,"^ and "the academic center of conservative 
Christianity in the United States."^ 

Various interpretations have been offered concerning the issues 
that led to the reorganization of the seminary in 1929 and ultimately 
the departure of J. Gresham Machen, Robert Dick Wilson, Oswald T. 
Allis, and Cornelius Van Til from the faculty to serve at the newly- 
founded Westminster Theological Seminary. Louis Gasper has written 
that the problem was "over the question of the infiltration of hberal 
professors on the faculty of Princeton Theological Seminary."^ That 
there were no liberal professors on the faculty during the controversy 
makes this view untenable. Carl Mclntire, a student at Princeton 
during the conflict, has affirmed that reorganization was the result of 
the strategy of liberal denominational leaders to silence the conserva- 

Hugh T. Kerr, Sons of the Prophets (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1963) 

^1) inspiration and inerrancy of Scripture, 2) the virgin birth of Christ, 3) the death 
of Christ as an offering to satisfy divine justice, 4) the resurrection of the physical body 
of Christ, and 5) the supernatural character of the miracles performed by Christ (General 
Assembly of the Presbyterian Church in the U.S.A., Minutes 10:2 NS [1910] 272-73). 

"George P. Hutchinson, The History Behind the Reformed Presbyterian Church, 
Evangelical Synod (Cherry Hill, New Jersey: Mack, 1974) 175. 

'George W. Dollar, A History of Fundamentalism in America (Greenville, South 
Carolina: Bob Jones University, 1973) 88. 

''John W. Hart, "The Controversy Within the Presbyterian Church, U.S.A., in the 
1920's with Special Emphasis on the Reorganization of Princeton Theological Semi- 
nary," (unpublished senior thesis, Princeton University, 1978) 1. 

Louis Gasper, The Fundamentalist Movement (The Hague: Mouton, 1963) 16. 

clutter: the reorganization of PRINCETON SEMINARY 181 

live voice at Princeton.^ Again, the facts discredit the theory. The 
conflict at the school had been developing for a decade before the 
denomination was requested to investigate the problem by members of 
the boards at Princeton. 

A popular interpretation expressed by some evangelicals is that 
the reunification in 1869 of the traditional Old School Presbyterianism 
and the more moderate New School faction rendered inevitable a 
broadening of the denomination as a whole and of Princeton Seminary 
as a part.'^ It is true that one might expect a spirit of moderation as a 
result of this reunification but to declare that the fall of Princeton was 
an inevitable result is to leave the realm of historical study. No 
necessary link between the reunion of 1869 and the reorganization of 
Princeton has been found. 

It is the thesis of this study that the tragedy of Princeton is the 
failure of two competing faculty factions to work harmoniously. It was 
demonstrated in that failure that a house divided against itself cannot 
stand. This division of the faculty revolved around two issues: (1) the 
requirements of seminary education, and (2) the nature of the church. 


The Requirements of Theological Education 

The generation which witnessed the early development of Ameri- 
can theological modernism and its antagonist, American fundamen- 
talism, also saw changes effected in the approach to seminary education. 
Leflferts A. Loetscher wrote: 

The relation between the American churches and their theological 
seminaries was a reciprocal one: the theology that the seminaries taught 
at any particular time was soon widely held throughout the Churches; 
and contrariwise, changes in the Churches' activity and thought, 
reflecting changes in American social and cultural life after the Civil 
War, created demands for changes in the curricula of the seminaries.'*^ 

Two significant steps were being taken by some seminaries: the 
dropping of Hebrew requirements and the movement toward an 
elective system of instruction." The impact of this movement was felt 
strongly at Princeton where instruction was based on a fixed curric- 
ulum estabhshed in outUne form by the General Assembly when the 

*Carl Mclntire, The Death of a Church (Collingswood, New Jersey: Christian 
Beacon, 1967) 144. 

'Edwin H. Rian, The Presbyterian Conflict (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1940) 16. 

'°Lefferts A. Loetscher, The Broadening Church (Philadelphia: University of 
Pennsylvania Press, 1954) 74. 

"Ibid., 74-75. 


church gave birth to the school. The areas prescribed were "Divinity, 
Oriental and Biblical Literature, and in Ecclesiastical History and 
Church Government, and on other such subjects as may be deemed 
necessary."'^ Princeton Seminary had as its educational purpose "to 
propagate and defend in its genuineness, simplicity, and fullness, that 
system of religious belief and practice which is set forth in the 
Confession of Faith, Catechisms, and Plan of Government and Disci- 
pline of the Presbyterian Church; and thus to perpetuate and extend 
the influence of true evangelical piety and gospel order." '^ 

Benjamin B. Warfield claimed that adherence to the guidelines 
established by the General Assembly and the Plan of the Seminary was 
the chief responsibility of the Princeton curriculum. 

In this outline it is required of every student whose preparation for the 
ministry shall be made in this Seminary, that he shall engage in the 
thorough study of Biblical Criticism, Apologetics, Dogmatics, Church 
History and the various branches of Practical Theology. These five 
departments of study, it will be at once perceived, constitute the essential 
divisions of what is called "Theological Encyclopedia," and when 
arranged in scientific order will be recognized as a scientifically complete 
theological curriculum. Every one who would obtain a comprehensive 
knowledge of theological science, in other words, must give adequate 
attention to these five disciplines: Apologetics, Exegetics, Histories, 
Systematics, and Practics; and in these five disciplines the circle of 
theological sciences is complete.'" 

Earlier, Warfield had written: "The curriculum is the place only for 
those courses which, when taken together, will provide a compre- 
hensive survey of all the theological disciplines and fundamental 
training in each."'^ The time spent in each of the five theological 
disciplines should be equal, with the exception of Old and New 
Testament exegesis, each of which should receive as much time as the 
other four categories.'^ 

Warfield also recognized a need for students to have a knowledge 
of the Bible as a whole, a knowledge which some suggested should be met 

'^General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church in the United States of America, 
Minutes (1789-1820 Inclusive) 454. 

^^Plan of the Theological Seminary of the Presbyterian Church in the United States 
of America, 4. 

'"[Benjamin B. Warfield], "Report of the Faculty of Princeton Theological Seminary 
to the Board of Directors on the Curriculum of the Seminary," Princeton Theological 
Seminary, Princeton, 29 April 1903, 2. 

'^Benjamin B. Warfield, "The Constitution of the Seminary Curriculum," The 
Presbyterian Quarterly 38 (October 1896) 426. 

"Ibid., 427-28. 

clutter: the reorganization of PRINCETON SEMINARY 183 

through the addition of courses on the EngUsh Bible to the curriculum. 
Warfield, though in sympathy with the goal of producing ministers 
knowledgeable in the Bible, declared: "Our theological seminaries can 
never make 'the English Bible' the basis of their instruction, or a 
thorough knowledge of it the main object of their efforts."'^ 

Over the objections of Warfield and the rest of the faculty, the 
Board of Directors responded positively to a student petition calling for 
instruction in English Bible. Samuel S. Mitchell was added to the 
faculty to offer extra-curricular instruction in English Bible and was 
succeeded after a term by W. W. White. In 1905, the seminary hired 
Charles R. Erdman to the Professorship of English Bible and Practical 
Theology. Among his responsibilities, Erdman was to develop the 
English Bible program so that it might become a more fully integrated 
part of the Princeton curriculum rather than an extra-curricular 
pursuit. In this endeavor Erdman came into disagreement with other 
faculty members and was called upon to address the directors con- 
cerning the problems. As a result the directors added two hours to the 
curriculum for the Practical Theology department in its teaching of 
English Bible.'* 

These additional hours given to that study did not receive the full 
support of the faculty. Warfield introduced "a resolution that elective 
studies based on the English Bible should not be allowed as minors in 
the course for the post-graduate B.D. degree."'^ Paul Martin, registrar 
at Princeton from 1906 until 1932, wrote: 

However, Dr. Warfield served notice upon the Registrar that Dr. 
Erdman's elective courses would not receive his necessary approval as 
minors in the registration by candidates of B.D. courses in the Depart- 
ment of Systematic Theology and maintained this ruling through the 
succeeding years. It can be said without fear or contradiction that 
disparagement of Dr. Erdman's courses has been a state of mind of the 
"majority" of the Faculty through his whole term as professor.^" 

A student rebellion in 1909 resulted in the formation of a sub- 
committee by the Board of Directors to investigate complaints about 
the quality of education at the seminary. In opposition to the claim of 

"Ibid., 436. 

'^Princeton Theological Seminary, Minutes of the Board of Directors, Meeting of 
4 May 1908. 

"Paul Martin to W. O. Thompson, 23 December 1926, Correspondence Con- 
cerning Machen Case 1925-1927, Robert E. Speer Library, Princeton Theological 
Seminary, Princeton. 



Warfield, the subcommittee concluded that the Plan did not establish a 
definite curriculum. It concluded that the Plan provided for a "finished 
product which is desired, and within the scope thus generally indicated, 
it places upon the Board of Directors, under the General Assembly the 
duty of framing the proper curriculum for furnishing that product. "^^ 
The subcommittee also concluded that there were too many hours 
required in the three year program.^^ It stated further that changes in 
twentieth century culture required an alteration in curriculum to meet 
the need of proper ministerial education and preparation. "A half- 
century ago we were largely a homogeneous people; to-day the floods 
of immigration and the swift development of our city-centers have 
changed the character of our people, and the church faces a complex 
situation unimagined a hundred years ago."^^ 

In making suggestions contrary to the faculty thinking, the sub- 
committee touched on an important point. 

We have learned from recent graduates, men say of five to fifteen years 
in the ministry, who are intensely loyal to everything in Princeton, that 
sometimes weeks at a stretch have been consumed in lectures in certain 
of the departments upon subjects of remotest interest to the pastor — as 
they strongly affirm, of no interest whatever — while other matters in the 
same department, which are very important to the pastor, have been 
practically overlooked. It is intimated by way of explanation that this is 
so because professors who had themselves never been pastors have no 
true conception of the relative importance of different subjects to the 
actual work of the ministry, and because, naturally enough they assume 
that the more difficult parts of the work call for the fuller treatment and 
the harder study.^"* 

Again it fell to Warfield to defend the curriculum as spokesman 
for the faculty. Regarding the requirements of the Plan of the Semi- 
nary Warfield said that they "do not need amending: they need only be 
carried out more fully. "^^ In response to the faculty defense, the 
subcommittee toned down the changes that were recommended ini- 
tially. The basic three year course remained unaltered except for the 
transferal of one hour of English Bible to the extra curriculum or 
post-graduate program in order to make room for an hour dealing 

"Report on the Supervising Committee of the Board of Directors of Princeton 
Theological Seminary," October 1909, 6. 

^^Ibid., 7. 


''Ibid., 10. 

"Benjamin B. Warfield, The Fundamental Curriculum of the Seminary (Princeton: 
Princeton Theological Seminary, 1909) 9. 

clutter: the reorganization of PRINCETON SEMINARY 185 

with "the Church's relation to practical problems. "^^ The issue, how- 
ever, was far from settled. 

Patton resigned as president of the seminary in 1913 and a search 
was conducted for a replacement. The Board of Directors turned to 
one of its own members, J. Ross Stevenson, pastor of the Brown 
Memorial Church in Baltimore. Stevenson previously had served on 
the faculty of McCormick Seminary, teaching ecclesiastical history at 
his alma mater. He was not a Princeton man either by training or 
service. Thus the new president was viewed with suspicion by some of 
the Princeton faculty. J. Gresham Machen wrote home: "Stevenson's 
notions about theological education are ruinous — they are especially 
bad with regard to New Testament work — and then of course you 
know what an extremely weak man Stevenson is."^^ 

On the other hand, Sylvester W. Beach, a member of the Board of 
Directors, wrote to Stevenson: 

But my chief joy in your coming is the assurance that it means a new 
and great epoch in our Seminary's history. Princeton once held leader- 
ship in the theology and movement of our Presbyterian church. For 
some years that has been lost. Why this has happened is a matter of little 
comparative importance. The point is, how to regain the lost ground? 
[sic] The first pre-requisite is head-ship in the seminary who knows and 
understands the practical problems of our day not less than the theo- 
logical issues. The seminary needs a leader to train leaders evangelical 
and evangelistic, with a clearly defined message & mission. The problem 
of the Church to-day is the missionary problem. The church will gladly 
follow the lead of any man who will show the road to the heart of a lost 

The two contrasting views of Machen and Beach continued until 
the time of reorganization in 1929. Ned B. Stonehouse wrote that 1914, 
the year of the election and inauguration of Stevenson, "marks the 
dividing line in the history of the Seminary. "^^ Paul Woolley looked 
back to 1902, when Stevenson was elected to the Board of Directors, 
and declared: "It was an evil day for the seminary, for pious and 
believing though he was, he had no understanding of, or love for, the 

"Report of the Supervising Committee of the Board of Directors of Princeton 
Theological Seminary," n.d., 7. 

^'Cited in Ned B. Stonehouse, J. Gresham Machen: A Biographical Memoir (Grand 
Rapids: Eerdmans, 1954) 216. 

^^Sylvester W. Beach to J. Ross Stevenson, 2 July 1914, Confidential letters and 
documents of J. Ross Stevenson, Robert E. Speer Library, Princeton Theological 
Seminary, Princeton. 

"stonehouse, J. Greshem Machen, 212. 


great tradition which the theologians had been building for ninety 
years. "^° Rian wrote concerning Stevenson: "He came to Princeton not 
appreciating fully its theological position and emphasis and at the 
same time accepting the office of president on the terms set forth in the 
Plan of the seminary which he interpreted in the plain sense but which 
interpretation had never been enforced at the institution."^^ He added: 

From the standpoint of administration Dr. Stevenson conceived of 
his position as that of the real head of the institution who was to have a 
leading part in forming its policies, choosing its professors, inviting men 
to address the students and representing the seminary before the Church. 
One who did not know the history of Princeton and its administrative 
poHcy would be likely to accept that interpretation of the president's 
position from a reading of the Plan of the seminary. On the other hand, 
the faculty had always believed that the president was little more than 
the presiding officer who, with his colleagues, decided on the entire 
educational program for the institution.^^ 

In his inaugural address, Stevenson emphasized that Princeton 
Seminary was the seminary of the Presbyterian Church in the U.S.A., 
and that it was "bound to heed the demands of the age as interpreted 
and emphasized by the Presbyterian Church."" Stevenson's desire that 
the seminary serve the whole church is not to be misunderstood as 
demonstrating a lack of theological conviction. The president con- 
tended that his approach was that of the early Princeton leaders who 
thought it proper to seek to train men who held doctrines hostile to 
those espoused at Princeton with the hope of reconciling such men to 
the theological position of the seminary.^"* 

Shortly after the inauguration of Stevenson, there was another 
move for change in the curriculum. The Board of Directors requested 
that a faculty Committee on Curriculum be formed and meet with the 
Curriculum Committee of that board in consideration of possible 
changes. Warfield, John D. Davis, Erdman, Frederick W. Loetscher 
and J. Ritchie Smith comprised the faculty committee. 

Reacting to a proposal for reduced curriculum (a cutting back of 
hours included in the required program of instruction), Warfield 
staunchly defended the current program. Summarizing the losses in the 
proposed curriculum, Warfield wrote: 

'°Paul Woolley, The Significance of J. Gresham Machen Today (Nutley, New 
Jersey: Presbyterian and Reformed, 1977) U. 

^'Rian, The Presbyterian Conflict, 65. 

"Ibid., 65-66. 

"j. Ross Stevenson, "Theological Education in Light of Present Day Demands," 
The Princeton Theological Review 14 (January 1916) 83. 

'"President's Report to the Board of Directors, Princeton Theolgocial Seminary, 
11 November 1925, Princeton. 

clutter: the reorganization of PRINCETON SEMINARY 187 

The reductions proposed aggregate no less than two hundred and forty 
hours for the fundamental departments of Hebrew, Apologetics, Old 
Testament, New Testament, Church History and Didactic Theology. 
These two hundred and forty hours make a whole half-year of sixteen 
weeks instruction in the seminary at fifteen hours weekly (or of fifteen 

Such reduction was disastrous for Warfield, who also opposed a 
curriculum heavy with elective courses. He was convinced that the 
majority of the students would not elect hours in the areas he con- 
sidered fundamental but would opt for the easier branches of seminary 
study which offered equal credit. ^^ The real problem which faced the 
seminary, as Warfield saw it, was that college students were coming to 
the seminary inadequately prepared. His desire was that the seminary 
take such men and meet their needs not by lowering requirements but 
by preparing them to meet established standards." This attempt would 
require certain propaedeutic courses, particularly Greek grammar, 
which would have to be taught to the student to prepare him for 
seminary — but such courses would be added to his program rather 
than supplant existing requirements.^* 

Two proposals were considered by the committees on curriculum: 
(1) that the number of hours be reduced, and (2) that elective courses 
be introduced for programs leading to graduation. ^^ Warfield opposed 
both proposals in a minority report.""^ The faculty, after two meetings 
of discussing the proposals and a tie vote on the question of reduced 
curriculum, approved the reduced curriculum by a nine to four vote. 
Warfield, William Brenton Greene, Jr., Caspar Wistar Hodge, and 
Geehardus Vos cast the negative votes."" Machen favored the proposal 
only because he had concluded that it would be the best offer that 
would come before the faculty.''^ The action of the faculty was inter- 
preted by the Curriculum Committee of the Board of Directors as a 

"Benjamin B. Warfield, Notes on Certain Proposed Readjustments of the Curric- 
ulum (Princeton, New Jersey: Privately printed, 1914) 5. 

'"Ibid., 7. 

"Benjamin B. Warfield to the Committee of the Boa^rd of Directors on the 
Curriculum, 3 November 1914, Montgomery Library, Westminster Theological Semi- 
nary, Philadelphia. 

^^Warfield, Notes on Certain Proposed Readjustments, 13. 

""Report of the Faculty Committee on Curriculum," Princeton Theological Semi- 
nary, in Minutes of the Board of Directors, 5 December 1914. 

""The Minority Report of the Faculty Committee on Curriculum in Minutes of the 
Board of Directors, 5 December 1914. 

Minutes of the Faculty, Princeton Theological Seminary, 16 January 1915, 

"^Stonehouse, J. Gresham Machen, 219. 


sign of dissatisfaction with the current curriculum and a reduced 
curriculum was implemented/^ 

Warfield was greatly disturbed by the turn of events and began to 
absent himself from faculty meetings. For the six month period during 
which Stevenson was in Europe ministering to servicemen during 
World War I, Warfield was present at every faculty meeting. At 
Stevenson's return, Warfield once again attended faculty meetings 
rarely.'*'' Machen was disappointed, also, and may have left the semi- 
nary had it not been for the influence of his department chairman and 
close advisor, William Park Armstrong."*^ Machen feared that the 
emphasis on the practical aspect of the curriculum by Stevenson might 
result in a "pious liberal" filling a chair on the faculty.'*^ Machen would 
watch Stevenson's actions closely. 

The curriculum revision just surveyed did not cause the reorgani- 
zation of Princeton, but it did serve to polarize the faculty and 
introduce further division. 

The Nature of the Church 

With the developing modernism in American churches, conser- 
vative men had to initiate a strategy for deafing with the new theology. 
Some men became quite militant and pubficly called for the ouster of 
modernists from their churches while others took an irenic stance, 
waiting for time and proper denominational procedure to alleviate the 
situation. At Princeton, Machen assumed, not voluntarily, the leader- 
ship of the militant force. Stevenson and Erdman sought an irenic 
solution to the problem of liberalism in the church. Opposed to liberal 
theology, the Stevenson-Erdman party sought the solution to the 
matter through proper Presbyterian court action. The denomination 
had been quite careful to estabUsh machinery for handling problems of 
false teaching and false practice. 

It is important to note that the militant party at Princeton 
consisted of the men who taught the exegetical and theological courses, 
those areas in which liberalism differed greatly from orthodoxy. The 
moderates at Princeton were, for the most part, the men in the area of 
practical theology who were concerned especially about the people in 
the pew and their needs rather than about theological debate. Only 
Greene among the militants had had pastoral experience. Everyone on 
the moderate side at Princeton had held significant pastorates. An 
example of the difficulty as it existed at the seminary can be illustrated 

"^Report of the Curriculum Committee to the Board of Directors in Minutes of the 
Board of Directors, 16 February 1915. 
'"Minutes of the Faculty, 1915-1921. 
"'Stonehouse, J. Gresham Machen, 219. 
"'Ibid., 220-21. 

clutter: the reorganization of PRINCETON SEMINARY 189 

by a letter written to Machen by a student transferring from Princeton 
to another institution. 

As one student remarked to me, "How many on the faculty know 
anything about real pastoral work, from their own experience?" Or of 
what value is it to the student that his professor is the leading Hebrew 
scholar of the world, if in class he prances up and down and yells 
spasmodically at the top of his lungs, and tells jokes most of the hour? 
Such a class is ridiculous in the extreem [sic]. When attending this class 
even the ardent lovers of Princeton would joke about going to "the 
circus." Merely to rant for an hour against modernism may split the ears 
of the groundlings, but it cannot but make the judicious grieve.''^ 

Such an attitude is only matched by the words of a leading 
professor from whom I quote the following exact statement as given 
with great gusto during a class lecture, "You shouldn't care one snap of 
the finger whether one soul in your congregation believes what you say 
or not. It is God's truth you are giving those damn sinners.''^ 

The first important clash relating to the nature of the church 
concerned the matter of involvement in the Plan of Union of 1920. 
This proposal was not for a complete organic union but was a plan for 
a federation. 

Under the provisions of the Plan, the Council of "The United 
Churches" would have authority, if and when member denominations 
desired it, to direct consolidation of missionary activities, but such 
consideration was not mandatory and could be "accelerated, delayed, or 
dispensed with as the interests of the Kingdom of God may require." The 
Plan also envisaged the transfer of at least some functions from denomi- 
national to a central administration but did not specify any particular 

Stevenson, vice-president of the Committee on Church Coopera- 
tion and Union of the PCUSA, presented the recommendation before 
the General Assembly of 1920, due to the fact that the committee 
chairman was on his deathbed. ^° The recommendation offered to the 
assembly was that the denomination officially enter into cooperation 
with other churches as long as only churches of evangelical persuasion 
were involved.^' Erdman supported the proposal while Warfield, 

Alfred G. Fisk to J. Gresham Machen, 25 June 1926, Machen Archives, 
Montgomery Library, Westminster Theological Seminary, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. 


'"Samuel McCrea Cavert, Church Cooperation and Unity in America: A Historical 
Review 1900-1970 (New York: Association, 1970) 327. 

^°J. Ross Stevenson to J. Gresham Machen, 23 November 1923, Machen Archives. 

^'General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church in the U.S.A., Minutes NS 20 
(1920) 121. 


Hodge, Greene, Machen, and Allis opposed it. Machen summarized his 
opposition: "At the General Assembly in Philadelphia in 1920, there 
was launched the most dangerous attack not only upon the Reformed 
Faith but upon the Christian Religion in general which had appeared 
in America in recent years."" Stevenson wrote to Machen that when 
he had become aware of the inadequacies of the plan he "secured its 
rejection" in the Baltimore presbytery." Machen was not satisified 
with Stevenson's statement because the president had presented the 
plan to the assembly and had not advocated its rejection there. He 
wrote to Stevenson: "A man who loves the Reformed Faith with all his 
heart and believes that no matter what other churches or other 
individuals may think is true, will, I think, defend it whether it is 
popular or not and will carry his defence of it out into the public 
concils [sic] of the Church. "^"^ The proposal died for lack of support in 
the presbyteries, but the cleavage between the factions on the Princeton 
faculty had widened. 

Machen's opposition to the new trends in the churches is expressed 
most clearly in his book, Christianity and Liberalism. He wrote that 
liberalism was not a Christian faith and, in fact, belonged "in a totally 
different class of religions."" He concluded that the church was in a 
state of weakness because it "has been unfaithful to her Lord by 
admitting great companies of non-Christian persons, not only into her 
membership, but into her teaching agencies. "^^ He added that "separa- 
tion between the two parties in the Church is the crying need of the 

With this understanding of Machen it is not difficult to ascertain 
why he had an aversion to the approach of Stevenson, who was not 
outspoken in his criticism of liberalism. Stevenson's confession of 
orthodoxy was not sufficient. Machen looked for a public proclama- 
tion by Stevenson regarding the issues which plagued the church. Not 
witnessing such a profession, Machen classified the president as indif- 
ferent." He held the same opinion of Erdman." 

The approach of Machen to the church has been interpreted 
variously. Loetscher considered the viewpoint to be Anabaptist.^*^ 
Clifton E. Olmstead considered it "closer to Congregationalism" than 

J. Gresham Machen to J. Ross Stevenson, 24 November 1923, Machen Archives. 
"Stevenson to Machen, 23 November 1923. 
'"Machen to Stevenson, 24 November 1923. 

"j. Gresham Machen, Christianity and Liberalism (New York: Macmillan, 1923) 7. 
"Ibid., 159. 
"ibid., 160. 

'^Machen to Stevenson, 24 November 1923. 

^'j. Gresham Machen to Mrs. A. L. Berry, 21 March 1924, Machen Archives. 
^Yoetscher, The Broadening Church, 117. 

clutter: the reorganization of PRINCETON SEMINARY 191 

to the Presbyterian doctrine.^' Machen believed that the church was a 
voluntary society with no one forced to join. Therefore, requiring 
certain standards for entrance to and maintenance of membership was 
appropriate.^^ He stated: 

In order, therefore, that the purity of the Church may be preserved, 
a confession of faith in Christ must be required of all those who would 
become church members. But what kind of profession must it be? I for 
my part think that it ought to be not merely a verbal confession but a 
credible confession.^^ 

In arguing for the purity of the church, he added: 

To that end, it should, I think, be made much harder than it now is 
to enter the Church: the confession of faith that is required should be a 
credible confession; and if it becomes evident upon examination that the 
candidate has no notion of what he is doing, he should be advised to 
enter upon a course of instruction before he becomes a member of the 

Machen viewed the tests of a credible confession not as challenges to 
the standing of an individual before God but only as a means of 
determining "with the best judgment that God has given to feeble and 
ignorant men, a man's standing in the Church. "^^ 

This approach of Machen is not that of the Princeton tradition. 
Charles Hodge conceived the church to be a body of those who profess 
Christ. ^^ For him the true church existed within the greater circle of the 
professing church and it was not only impossible but even evil to seek 
to purge the church of unbelievers.^^ It is not the right of the people, 
nor do they have the wisdom, to judge the profession of the one 
confessing faith. ^* A. A. Hodge continued this approach at Princeton 
with his teaching that the church was a "mixed community" that was 
not to experience separation until the end of the age.^^ 

Clifton E. Olmstead, History of Religion in the United States (Englewood Cliffs, 
New Jersey: Prentice-Hall, 1960) 551. 

^^Machen, Christainity and Liberalism, 166-67. 

"j. Gresham Machen, What Is Faith? (New York: Macmillan, 1925) 155-56. 

''Ibid., 156-57. 

"Ibid., 159. 

'^Charles Hodge, "Visibility of the Church," The Biblical Repertory and Princeton 
Review 25 (October 1853) 680. 

"Charles Hodge, Systematic Theology (New York: Charles Scribner, 1871-72) 
3. 572. 

'^Ibid., 3. 545. 

*' Archibald Alexander Hodge, Outlines of Theology, (rev. ed.; New York: A. C. 
Armstrong and Son, 1878) 618. 


Machen's position caused him conflict with Erdman when the 
latter was candidate for the position of moderator of the General 
Assembly in 1924. Erdman did not repudiate the support of modernists 
who backed him in the race. Machen could not understand how a man 
could claim to be of the Reformed faith and not fight for it publicly 
against modernists. In his militant approach, Machen appealed to the 
public at large through the printed word and the spoken testimony 
with the desire to rid the church of Uberal leaders and influences. He 
did not seek a final verdict on matters pertaining to liberalism through 
the recognized judicial system of the Presbyterian church. 

Stevenson, in defense of his approach to the church, looked to the 
Princeton heritage which he thought he exemplified. He emphasized 
that the toleration which he advocated was "the same in kind and 
degree which the fathers of the seminary, Dr. Alexander, Miller, and 
Hodge advocated a hundred years ago."^*^ He referred to the fact that 
the early Princeton professors were considered moderates in their 
approach to the method of purifying the church in agreement with the 
position of the Princeton fathers. 

They maintained that every effort to reform the church, or to promote 
its purity and edification should be made in a constitutional way, i.e., 
through the medium of regular constitutional judicatories. They referred 
to Old School men who found it more easy to make sweeping assertions 
regarding corrupt opinions in the Church, or complain to the General 
Assembly by signing an Act and Testimony, than to do their duty as 
members of their respective Presbyteries.^' 

Stevenson insisted that Princeton Seminary remain loyal "to the 
Standards of the Presbyterian Church as enjoined and safeguarded by 
the General Assembly," and he insisted upon "constitutional methods 
of government and discipline in dealing with error and corruption 
within the Presbyterian ministry. "^^ Princeton, as a Presbyterian insti- 
tution, should find its professors not in opposition to "the fundamental 
principles of Presbyterian Church government. "^^ Stevenson assumed 
such a position himself rather than make statements as a representative 
of Princeton in opposition to the rising tide of liberahsm in the 
denomination. He contended that the president had no sanction to 
make such statements. ^"^ 

™J. Ross Stevenson, "Communication from President Stevenson," The Presbyterian 
96 (8 July 1926)6. 

"j. Ross Stevenson, The Historical Position of Princeton Seminary (New York: 
N.p., February, 1928)10-11. 

"Ibid., 12. 

"Ibid., 12-13. 

^''j. Ross Stevenson, Report to the Board of Directors, 11 November 1925, in 
Minutes of the Board of Directors, Princeton Theological Seminary, 1 1 November 1925, 

clutter: the reorganization of PRINCETON SEMINARY 193 

In facing charges that he wished to make Princeton into an inclu- 
sive seminary reflecting various viewpoints of the church, Stevenson 
wrote: "As I know in my own mind and heart, I wish to state most 
emphatically that I do not want such an 'inclusive' seminary at 
Princeton as would include Modernists, Liberals, or those of whatever 
name, who are disloyal to the Standards of the Presbyterian Church. "^^ 
That Stevenson did have concern about liberalism in the church is 
apparent from his reference to Union Seminary in New York as being a 
"Seminary for destructive liberalism. "^^ 

Erdman followed the same approach to the church as Stevenson. 
He wrote to Armstrong: "my purpose has been and is to be absolutely 
loyal to our Church Standards in their more conservative interpreta- 
tion; to abide strictly by constitutional processes in dealing with those 
whose teachings are not in harmony with these Standards; and further, 
to faithfully support the Boards and agencies of our Church. "^^ 
Erdman 's attitude toward Uberals is a reflection of his interpretation of 
2 John 10. 

We should note at once, however, that the reference here is to teachers 
who claim to be official and authoritative, and to such treatment of them 
as plainly would indicate sympathy with their errors and support their 
professed efforts to overthrow fundamental truth. John does not forbid 
ordinary courtesy, he does not encourage impoliteness or churlishness or 
unkindness or cruelty.'^ 

Erdman faced mounting criticism because of his view. 

The problem of liberalism in the Presbyterian church confronted 
all of the faculty members at Princeton. Wilson, Vos, Greene, 
Armstrong, Hodge, and Allis — men involved in exegetical and doc- 
trinal instruction and, with the exception of Greene, lacking pastoral 
experience — lent their support to Machen's contention that the church 
was in great peril and that it was the place of Princeton Seminary to 
enter the fray on the side of militant orthodoxy. On the other side of 
the issue was a minority consisting of Stevenson, Erdman, Smith and 
Loetscher. These men of significant pastoral experience tended to be 
churchmen who sought solutions to denominational concerns through 
constitutional procedure. This latter group, concerned with ministering 

Stevenson, "Communication from President Stevenson," 6. 

^^ Report of the Special Committee to Visit Princeton Theological Seminary to the 
General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church in the U.S.A. (Philadelphia: Office of the 
General Assembly, May, 1927) 57. 

"Charles R. Erdman to William Park Armstrong, 18 December 1926, Letters 
concerning Machen, J. Gresham, 1925-1926, Robert E. Speer Library, Princeton 
Theological Seminary, Princeton. 

'^Charles R. Erdman, The General Epistles: An Exposition (Philadelphia: West- 
minster, 1919) 194. 


to the whole denomination, feared the attitude by the faculty majority 
which might isolate the seminary from the church. Stevenson voiced 
this concern to the Board of Directors in 1924. 

One hundred and thirty-three students, or sixty per cent of the 
entire body, belong to the Presbyterian Church in the U.S.A. This is a 
slight increase over last year, but according to reports which came to us, 
McCormick, with a smaller total enrollment, has a larger number of 
Presbyterian students than we have. The number of candidates for the 
ministry graduating from our Presbyterian colleges varies from year to 
year, and we naturally expect a fluctuation in the enrollment which we 
have each year from a particular college. However, we find upon inquiry 
that Princeton Seminary does not get the proportion of students to 
which her standing in the theological world entitles her." 

This situation may have resulted from Princeton's strong conser- 
vative position. Due to its reputation for strict orthodoxy, conserva- 
tives from other church bodies were attracted. At the same time, most 
of the conservatives in the Presbyterian church were not located in the 
northeast. Other seminaries within the denomination were dividing the 
evangelical students with Princeton. 

Events at Princeton which dramatized for the public the division 
within the faculty hampered the institution in its endeavor to attract 
students. The controversy surrounding the ouster of Erdman as faculty 
adviser to the Student Association, a position he had held since 1907, 
triggered concern which eventuated in the reorganization of the semi- 
nary. Whether in accord with the facts or not, Machen was accused of 
engineering the removal of Erdman from the office. The print media 
presented Machen as the leader of a fundamentalist faction which 
stood in opposition to Erdman. ^° Though the reports show evidence of 
being misleading, Machen's stock in the Presbyterian conflict took a 
tumble from which it would not recover. Samples from the letters 
addressed to Erdman from self-confessed conservative pastors and 
leaders contain the following statements: 

Personally, I am "sound" in my loyalty to the Confession of 
Faith — a fundamentalist; but the Lord have mercy on that brand of 
fundamentalism that cannot endorse you as spiritual adviser to the 
students of Princeton Seminary. 

Princeton Theological Seminary, Minutes of the Board of Directors, Meeting of 
14 October 1924. 

*°New York Times, 6 April 1925; Public Ledger (Philadelphia), 6 April 1925; New 
York Herald Tribune, 6 April 1925; Trenton Evening Times, 7 April 1925, reproduced in 
Documents Appended to a Statement by J. Gresham Machen, ed. by J. Gresham 
Machen (Princeton: Printed, not published, 23 November 1926) 42-51. 

clutter: the reorganization of PRINCETON SEMINARY 195 

I am very conservative myself but may I never be guilty of an open 
attack upon one who like yourself stands for the whole truth as 
contained in the Word of our blessed Lord. 

Princeton has always stood for the fundamentals and I know that you 
have always stood for them too. Most of our Princeton men are 
fundamentalists at heart. What is dividing the church of today is not the 
question of doctrine so much but rather the question of Christian charity 
and Christian Spirit. 

I wonder if Machen and the rest realize that they are doing untold 
harm — dividing the evangelical element in the church as you wrote to 
Kennedy. Why should orthodoxy have such a trend towards intolerance 
and Pharisaism? Conservatism without love sours quickly. 

Those of us eho [sic] are out on the field are truly distressed at the 
conditions which seem to be so prominent in the Seminary. We are 
praying that the right attitude will prevail, that the hatred and malice 
which seem to eminate [sic] from the seminary to flood secular and 
religious papers will be removed. I have heard no less than a dozen men 
say that if they had students for ministry they would not know where to 
send them today — certainly not to Princeton. We are with you in prayer 
and hope that something definite will come to weld hearts together and 
to remove the stigma from the beloved institution.^' 

A letter to Machen demonstrates a similar concern: 

I am writing to make it clear that, if I must choose between the 
contending groups, I must decide for the one represented by Dr. 
Stevenson and Dr. Erdman. In aims and motives I rank the groups on 
an equality. Also, both groups worship the same Christ and hold the 
same historic facts as basic. But there is no doubt in my mind that the 
methods of your group are not in accord with a full orbed Christian 
faith. Christ's program for us does not include the negative attitude of 
condemnatory judging and labelling our co-workers but it is His desire 
that His followers proclaim a positive message for Him. This is the 
program of Dr. Stevenson and Dr. Erdman — hence, I cast my lot with 
them. No one deprecates more than I, the fact the paganism has, to some 
extent, been supplanting the Gospel, in some Presbyterian pulpits, but 
certainly this is not true of any members of the Seminary Faculty. 
Further, it is my opinion that the way to silence the >un-Evangelical 
voices is not by personal vituperation but by calm prayerful considera- 
tion of the matter by our regularly established Church Courts. Let us not 
be panic stricken and frantic as if God's truth will fail unless we attack 
in personal ways the ones unfaithful to their ordination vows. God's 
Truth through God's Spirit is sure to win but remember that the New 

*' Letters concerning position as Student Advisor, Robert E. Speer Library, Prince- 
ton Theological Seminary, Princeton. 


Testament blessing of the Spirit is for all Christ's Followers and not 
for a special few. Why not take Christ at His word and leave this matter 
to the consensus of judgment of our Spirit guided Presbyters and 

The conflict between Erdman and Machen reached beyond the 
halls of Princeton. Erdman ran unsuccessfully for the position of 
moderator of the General Assembly in 1924 but was victorious after 
being nominated in 1925. Erdman did not have the support of Machen, 
his colleague. Having to answer once again for his failure to denounce 
those who backed him from a liberal persuasion, Erdman responded: 

I believe in opposing heresy on the part of any one who is troubling 
the church. I believe that the procedure should be in a kindly spirit and 
in accordance with the law of the church. If any men of more liberal 
theological views desire to vote for me, it is, of course, their privilege to 
do so. The platform on which I stand, however, is that of old-fashioned 
orthodoxy and Christian spirit and constitutional procedures.^^ 

In spite of this statement, the conservative periodical, The Presbyterian, 
continued to oppose Erdman due to his unwiUingness to separate 
himself publicly from liberal support.^'* 

At the General Assembly of 1926, Erdman and Stevenson both 
spoke against the nomination of Machen to the chair of Apologetics 
and Christian Ethics at the seminary. The assembly had the responsi- 
bility of confirming the nomination. Erdman 's words were reported as 

I am not speaking with any personal animus. This is not a theo- 
logical question. Princeton is true to the standards of the Presbyterian 
Church. Nor is it to be questioned that Dr. Machen has been a defender 
of the faith. What has been questioned is whether his temper and 
methods of defense have been such as to qualify him for the particular 
chair where his whole time will be devoted to the defense of the Christian 

Erdman expressed the opinion that debate should not continue on the 
issue of Machen's appointment since a committee had been formed, at 
the request of certain members of the Board of Directors and Board of 
Trustees at Princeton, with the purpose of investigating the problems 

S. Earl Owing to J. Gresham Machen, 14 May 1925, Machen Archives. 

""Dr. Erdman 's Statement," The Presbyterian Banner 1 1 1 (7 May 1925) 5. 

^'Editorial Note to "Is Dr. Erdman Labelled?," The Presbyterian 45 (14 May 
1925) 12. 

^^New York Herald Tribune, 3 June 1926, cited in Documents appended to the 
Statement by J. Gresham Machen, 101-102. 

clutter: the reorganization of PRINCETON SEMINARY 197 

existent at the seminary. In an unprecedented action the assembly 
refused to confirm Machen's appointment, choosing to await the 
report of the committee. 


The response at Princeton to the organizing of an investigating 
committee was mixed. Martin, the registrar, is an example of those 
who looked at the probe as one which would get at the issue and help 
solve the problem.^^ Machen, on the other hand, viewed the committee 
as "purely partisan" and not capable of producing an objective report.*^ 

The process of investigation was to include interviews with alumni, 
faculty, and board members. Alumni interviews revealed various opin- 
ions regarding the situation at the seminary. Some thought the prob- 
lem was the inability of Stevenson to bring harmony and cooperation. 
Others saw the division as an outgrowth of the conflict between 
Machen and Erdman. A third opinion placed the blame at the feet of 
Stevenson and Erdman for their opposition to the will of the majority 
of the faculty. A fourth perspective was offered by those who con- 
cluded that Machen was the source of the trouble.*^ That the problem 
was one of faculty dissension is clear. 

It seemed to be the consensus of opinion that much of the difficulty 
in Princeton could be found in the Faculty; that the situation which had 
developed was greatly to be deplored, because of the eflFect upon the 
students, and the unfavorable impression made upon prospective stu- 
dents, who, finding the spirit of contention prevailing, preferred to 
attend some other seminary. One pastor spoke of three young men of his 
church, at different times in his ministry, whom he had turned toward 
Princeton, but who went elsewhere, because of the situation which they 

Interviews with faculty members substantiated the conclusion of 
serious disharmony among the faculty. Stevenson testified that there 
existed "a difference of attitude within the faculty toward the Pres- 
byterian Church of today, toward General Assemblies and their lead- 
ership, the Assembly of 1924 excepted, and towards the boards, 
agencies and enterprises of the Presbyterian Church'\^° He asked: 

But should the faculty on this or any other account take itself seriously 
and assume the functions of a board of censors, or a board of strategy 

'*Ibid., 104. 

*'j. Gresham Machen to Maitland Alexander, 8 August 1926, Machen Archives. 

^^ Report of the Special Committee to Visit Princeton Theological Seminary, 5. 

''Ibid., 5-6. 

'"Ibid., 153. 


for the whole Church in general and the Presbyterian Church in 
particular? This is just what has taken place in Princeton Seminary 
within the past three years under the active leadership of Dr. Machen. 
He has made his diagnosis of conditions in the Presbyterian Church and 
has given it wide publicity, and he has also prescribed a drastic method 
of treatment as being the Church's only hope.^' 

Armstrong, speaking on behalf of the majority of the faculty, 
stated that they 

maintain that the Institution has been historically affiliated with the 
doctrinal point of view in the Church known as the Old School. They are 
not aware that the reunion of Old and New Schools required the 
surrender by the Institution at that time of its doctrinal position and 
they are unwiUing that this position be surrendered now when the 
differences in the Church are concerned not with two forms of the 
Reformed Faith but with the very nature of evangelical Christianity 

Included with the statement from Armstrong was a document sub- 
mitted by C. W. Hodge to the Board of Directors in which he wrote: "In 
conclusion, I would add, that it thus appears that two entirely opposite 
attitudes toward truth or doctrine exist here and in the Church at large, 
so that no peace between them is either possible or desirable. "^^ 

Machen expressed his opinion regarding the real issue at Prince- 
ton. "It concerns the maintenance of the historic position of Princeton 
Seminary in the defense of the faith. The majority of the Board of 
Directors and the majority of the Faculty are in favor of a policy which 
I think will maintain that position; the President is in favor of a policy 
which I think will break it down."^"* 

Machen did not wish to be understood as passing judgment upon 
the religious views of Stevenson but was concerned lest the broad 
approach to the church espoused by the president would serve as "the 
instrument in breaking down the witness of an institution to that 
faith. "^^ He restated this point: "I am very far indeed from asserting 
that Dr. Stevenson is a Modernist; but I am convinced that if his policy 
prevails, Princeton Seminary will be in a very few years a Modernist 

Machen concluded his statement by arguing that, in a day of 
theological divergence, the faculty majority at Princeton ought to have 

"Ibid., 53. 
'^Ibid., 68. 
"Ibid., 75. 
''Ibid., 117 
''Ibid., 118. 

clutter: the reorganization of PRINCETON SEMINARY 199 

a right to be heard and to continue the instruction which exempUfied 
the heritage of the Old School tradition that belonged to Princeton. In 
addressing the committee particularly, he said: "Whatever be your own 
attitude toward our theological and ecclesiastical views, I cannot help 
hoping that you will hold that our distinctiveness is to be respected 
even when it is not shared, and that the internal affairs of Princeton 
Seminary are to be left, of course with the retention of the Assembly's 
veto power, to the orderly working in the Board of Directors and in the 
Faculty, of the principle of majority rule."^^ 

Allis supported the statements by Armstrong and Machen. He 
laid the responsibility for the problem in the seminary at the door of 
the president. He concluded: 

It is now, I believe, inescapably plain that the president is determined to 
carry out his policies in the face of the open opposition of the majority of 
his Faculty, and furthermore and most important of all, that he is 
prepared to use every means in his power, especially those means which 
his position of leadership as the President of the Seminary has placed at 
his disposal, to undermine their influence and to change this Seminary 
from its position of strict adherence to the traditions of historic 
Presbyterianism to one in which all shades of beliefs which are now 
tolerated within the Church, even though they be clearly out of harmony 
with its Standards, will be more or less tolerated even if not approved. 
This policy the majority of the Faculty feel it their duty to resist and 

Smith supported the president and his approach. He defined his 
position as he defended Stevenson. 

I would not have any system of inclusion, which included elements 
hostile to that system, and the only inclusion I would recognize is the 
inclusion of all those who hold that system pure and entire, and yet 
cherish within the limits, certain minor differences of opinion. I differ 
from my brethren in this respect, that it seems to me is about the 
position of the President of the Seminary. If this is not his position, and 
if he is inclined to bring into the Seminary or into the representation of 
the Seminary in any degree, what we call the liberal or modernistic 
elements, I should oppose him as heartily as any of my brethren, but 
because I do not think he holds that position, because I have satisfied 
myself in public utterance and in private utterance, that his attitude is 
that which I have been indicating, I have been inclined to support him. 

Stevenson declared that Smith had represented him accurately. "If I 
ever meant the Church would recognize heresy, and men who do not 

"Ibid., 119. 
"Ibid., 121. 
"Ibid., 153. 


believe in the authority of the Scriptures, who do not accept the Virgin 
Birth, if I have ever meant any intimation of that kind, I would make 
public apology, because I do not hold to anything of that kind."'°° 
Loetscher raised some pertinent questions in his testimony. 

The question, therefore, that has divided us as I see it is this. How far 
may we go in the exercise of Christian charity toward those who differ 
with us in regard to the attitude that we ought to take toward matters in 
public debate? How far does my loyalty to conviction prevent me from 
exercising Christian charity toward my brother in the ministry?'"' 

Testimonies by members of the boards continued the theme of 
faculty division and the issues that had caused the cleavage. The 
committee concluded that one of the factors which was behind the 
problem was the existence of two boards serving to govern the 
institution. '°^ The Board of Directors was the original governing 
board. A Board of Trustees was added to maintain the seminary in its 
legal status in the state of New Jersey. The directors were involved with 
the faculty and educational direction. The trustees were to deal with 
financial and corporate matters. The boards, like the faculty, had come 
to be divided over the issues but their division was not public. The 
investigating committee proposed reorganization of the seminary under 
one board of control. '°^ After two years of further debate and pub- 
lication of views, the reorganization was effected. A new thirty-three 
man board was to be appointed. Eleven members from each of the 
existing boards were nominated along with eleven men from outside 
these boards. Two men chosen, Asa J. Ferry and W. Beatty Jennings, 
had been signers of the Auburn Aflfirmation. Machen refused to serve 
under such a board and left the institution to establish Westminster 
Theological Seminary. With him went Robert Dick Wilson, Cornelius 
Van Til, and Oswald T. Allis. 

The separation of these men from the faculty was not the wish of 
the new board. Their absence from the seminary at Princeton cost that 
institution some of its best young leadership. In 1930, John Murray left 
Princeton after a year of service and joined the faculty at Westminster. 
These men represented the areas of Old Testament, New Testament, 
Theology, and Apologetics. Their defection from Princeton was a 
severe blow to its future conservative leadership. The question can be 
raised as to what effect the continued presence of these men at 
Princeton might have had on a future generation of students. At the 

"Ibid., 161. 
'ibid., 157. 
'ibid., 47. 
'ibid., 49. 

clutter: the reorganization of PRINCETON SEMINARY 201 

same time it must be admitted that the strict Presbyterianism and 
separatism espoused by these men made it impossible for them to 
continue careers there. Lefferts Loetscher concluded: "It was best for 
both parts of the seminary's tradition that open bifurcation came at 
last, and that each could develop more fully and consistently its 
inherent implications unhampered by a really alien tendency. "'°'* 


The reorganization of Princeton Theological Seminary and the 
subsequent departure of four professors brought the dawn of a new era 
for the institution. That reorganization was neither the result of a 
modernist-conceived plan to capture the seminary nor an inevitable 
consequence of church reunion. The issue was rather the division 
among the seminary faculty members over theological curriculum and 
over the nature and needs of the Presbyterian church. This division 
resulted in the loss of students as well as pastoral support. The 
situation cried out for a resolution that evangelical men were unable 
and/ or unwilHng to achieve. 

The Princeton story serves as an example to evangelical colleges 
and seminaries. Men and women who are in agreement on essential 
doctrinal matters and confessional statements must avoid polarization 
and disharmony which can result when issues are not resolved in the 
spirit of unity, peace, and love. 

'"''Loetscher, The Broadening Church, 147. 

Grace Theological Journal 7.2 (1986) 203-12 


Irvin a. Busenitz 

Lexical and etymological studies of the words of Gen 3:16b yield 
little help for interpreting the meaning of the woman's desire for man. 
Contextual evidence, however, indicates that the woman 's desire for 
the man and his rule over her are not the punishment but the 
conditions in which the woman will suffer punishment. Although there 
are linguistic and thematic parallels between Gen 3:16b and Gen 4:7, 
contextual differences and interpretive problems indicate that Gen 4:7 
cannot be used to interpret the meaning of "desire" in Gen 3:16. Cant 
7 :10[11] provides a better context for understanding the word. It may 
be concluded that, in spite of the Fall, the woman will have a longing 
for intimacy with man involving more than sexual intimacy. 


ALTHOUGH in the past few decades there has been a proHferation of 
books and articles discussing biblical norms for the role of women 
both in society and in the church, a consensus of interpretation has not 
emerged. The complexity of the issue, coupled with the exegetical 
difficulty of relevant Scripture, has made general agreement elusive. 
Part of the discussion has focused upon the last phrase of Gen 3:16: 
"yet your desire shall be for your husband, and he shall rule over 

Various interpretations have been propounded for the meaning of 
this phrase, centering primarily around the definition of "desire." One 
prominent interpretation suggests that, as a punishment for the Fall, a 
woman's desire will be subject to her husband's. "Her desire, whatever 
it may be, will not be her own. She cannot do what she wishes, for her 
husband rules over her like a despot and whatever she wishes is subject 

All biblical quotations from NASB unless otherwise noted. 


to his will."^ Another viewpoint contends that the woman will have an 
immense longing, yearning, and psychological dependence.^ More 
recently a third view has surfaced. It suggests that, based on the usage 
of "desire" in Gen 4:7, the woman will desire to dominate the relation- 
ship with her husband. "The woman's desire is to control her husband 
(to usurp his divinely appointed headship), and he must master her, if 
he can."" 


The Hebrew term rendered "desire" is Ti[?wr\ and is derived from 
pW. It is given the general lexical meaning of "attract, impel, of desire, 
affection";^ however, due to its infrequent occurrence in the OT (Gen 
3:16; 4:7; Cant 7:10[11]),^ the semantic range is unclear. The etymo- 
logical data is equally obscure. The word may be related historically to 
the Arabic sdqa (which is often used in contexts indicating sexual 
desire) or saqa (which is used in a more general sense of desire).^ 
Nevertheless, sdqa does not demand sexual connotations and sdqa 
does not rule them out.^ In light of its usage in Gen 4:7, the term 
appears to have a meaning which is broader than sexual desire. 

Perhaps the translators of the LXX attempted to clarify their 
understanding of the term by translating it with ctTrooxpocpfi in Gen 
3:16 and 4:7, but with 87riaTpo(pf| in Cant 7:10[11]. The preposition 
dTTo, when attached to the verb axpecpco, suggests "to turn away," while 
8711 suggests "to turn toward." However, it is difficult to understand 

E. J. Young, Genesis 3 (London: Banner of Truth, 1966) 127; cf. John Calvin, 
Genesis (reprint; Grand Rapids: Baker, 1979) 172, who contends that 3:166 is an 
example of Hebrew poetry in which a thought is restated in a subsequent phrase. As 
such, "and he shall rule over you" is a reassertion of "your desire shall be to your 

^Gini Andrews, Your Half of the Apple (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1972) 51; cf. 
H. C. Leupold, Genesis (2 vols.; Grand Rapids: Baker, 1977) 1. 172. 

'Susan Foh, "What Is the Woman's Desire?" WTJ 37 (1975) 382; cf. also Fob's 
Women and the Word of God {Tspnnt; Grand Rapids: Baker, 1980) 69. 

'BDB, 1003. The definition given by Koehler and Baumgartner (KB, 1. 1043) is 
similar: "impulse, urge." 

^The significance of the term as used in these three passages is treated below. The 
number in brackets refers to the versification of the Hebrew text. 

^Foh (Women, 67) seeks to remove any sexual connotation from "desire" in 3:l6b 
by contending that "the phonemic equivalent of the Hebrew s ['0 of pw] is s in Arabic. 
The proper etymology in Arabic for pW is saqa, to urge or drive on. This meaning need 
not have sexual connotations." 

''in either case, etymology is often of little help in ascertaining meaning, which is 
determined by context and usage. 


how Gen 4:7 could embody any idea of "turning away."^ Furthermore, 
the terms are virtually synonymous in meaning in noun form,'° so that 
the change in prepositional prefix is "unconvincing"" as an interpreta- 
tion and "quite unnecessary."'^ 

The Tg. Onq. translates the term with "^'rinnxn, which means "to 
desire, long for." While it does not occur in the Aramaic portions of 
the OT, its Hebrew equivalent is recorded in Ps 119:20: "My soul is 
crushed with longing [naxn] after Thine ordinances at all times." 

The other terms used in Gen 3:16 are even less helpful (when 
treated individually) for determining the meaning of the text. The verb 
"to rule," from "^^Q, is employed both here and in 4:7. The LXX 
translates the term in 3:16 with Kupieuco, which means "to lord it 
over,"'^ but uses a verb form of oipxco ("to rule over"'") in 4:7, possibly 
to depict a more governmental, autocratic concept. Similarly, little 
significance can be attached to the interchange of the prepositions Vx 
(3:16; 4:7) and bv (Cant 7:10[11]). The Hebrew language frequently 
employs the two prepositions interchangeably, with apparent indis- 

Ultimately, the effort to achieve exegetical clarity cannot be 
propelled by lexical or etymological information, for the data revealed 

The same should be said of Gen 3:16 also, for even understanding njTlU'n to mean a 
desire for dom.ination and control does not essentially incorporate a "turning away" 

'°The meaning assigned to both terms in BAGD (100, 301) is "to turn toward." 

"John Skinner, Genesis (ICC; Edinburgh: T. & T. Clark, 1969) 83. 

'^U. Cassuto, The Book of Genesis (2 vols; Jerusalem: Magnes, 1978) 1.166. 

'^Some have contended that Kupisuco connotes the idea of establishing one in an 
office over another. If this were true it would suggest that the husband was not installed 
in the "office" of leader/ headship until after the Fall. Yet 1 Tim 2:12-14 implies that the 
role of headship was divinely ordained prior to the fall. Equally untenable is the 
following analysis: "This is obviously neither an intensification nor a warping of a 
pre-existing hierarchy between the sexes for no such hierarchy is alluded to" (Victor P. 
Hamilton, "pW," in Theological Wordbook of the Old Testament, ed. R. Laird Harris, 
Bruce K. Waltke, and Gleason L. Archer, Jr. [2 vols; Chicago: Moody, 1980] 20 913). 
While Genesis 1-3 does not specifically refer to a preexisting hierarchy, it is alluded to in 
a multiplicity of ways in the opening chapters. Examples include the purpose of woman's 
creation (2:18) and the naming of woman (2:23). Furthermore, it is specifically stated 
elsewhere in Scripture that a hierarchical structure between man and woman antedated 
the Fall (1 Tim 2:12-14; 1 Cor 11:3-12). 

"BAGD, 113. 

'^Cf. BDB, 41. Numerous examples of this interchange exist in the OT (e.g., 1 Sam 
1:10, 26; 1 Sam 25:25). While the "physical motion toward" idea of Vx can also 
encompass the concept of "against," as it does in Gen 4:8, it is made evident only by the 
context. Since such a thought is not inherent in the context of 3:16, one should not be 
too quick to read the idea of "against" back into it. 


by such is dim and inconclusive. Lexically and etymologically, the term 
pW is shrouded in obscurity; the verb Vli'O and the prepositions Vx and 
Vy are equally impotent to unlock the meaning of Gen 3:16. 


While the study of each of the terms does not shed much light on 
the meaning of Gen 3:16, the context does. In Gen 3:15 the mention of 
woman serves as a point of transition to v 16 where the Lord 
pronounces judgment upon the woman. A similar connection is pro- 
vided between v 16 and v 17; the mention of the husband in v I6b 
allows for a smooth transition to the judgment pronounced upon the 
man in vv 17-19. 

The first thing to be noted by the context is the fact that each 
recipient of God's judgment receives one punishment. In the case of the 
serpent (3:14), he would move on his belly: similarly, Satan (3:15) 
receives one judgment — a death blow administered by the seed of the 
woman. '^ In the judgment upon man (3:17-19), the ground will not 
readily yield its fruit. In Gen 4:11, Cain too is the recipient of only one 
punishment. Consequently, in 3: 16 woman is probably the recipient of 
only one judgment. 

Second, in each of the judgments which God pronounced in Gen 
3:14-19 and 4:11-12, the nature of the curse has no essential relation- 
ship to the nature of the sin committed. The ground not readily 
yielding its fruit has no essential relationship to Adam's eating of the 
forbidden fruit; the fact that the serpent would now crawl on the 
ground has no integral connection to his enticing conversation with the 
woman. Consequently, one should not assume that the woman's 
punishment is to be sealed forever under the control of her husband, 
because she stepped out of her divinely ordained role of submission 
and followed the admonition of the devil. 

Third, the judgments given to the woman and the man (3:16-19) 
revolve around propagation and seed.'' "Both sentences involve 

This argument follows the view that Satan is being addressed in v 15. It is doubtful 
that the term "enmity" (n^'X) can be limited merely to a hostility between man and beast, 
for elsewhere the term is employed only of enmity between morally responsible agents 
(cf. Num 35:21, 22; Ezek 25:15; 35:5). Furthermore, if the v 15 judgment refers to the 
serpent, then it is essentially no judgment at all, for animals in general exist under a 
similar relationship with man. 

"The opening statement of 3:16: "I will greatly multiply your pain and your 
conception" is probably a hendiadys — an idiomatic phrase referring to pain which 
results from pregnancy. In addition to the fact that it is doubtful if an increased fertility 
cycle would constitute a punishment, the next phrase combines the two thoughts: "in 
pain you shall bring forth children." Cf. Cassuto's suggestion (Genesis, I. 165) that "a 
better interpretation is: your suffering in general, and more particularly that of your 


pain/ toil, and both affect the bringing forth of hfe, human and 
otherwise."'* The context speaks not of the desire of woman to rule the 
man but of the continuation of life in the face of death. Such is the 
central element of 3:16a. Such is the focal point of 3:17-19. Thus, there 
is good cause to believe that the same idea is present in 3:16^. 

Fourth, in the contextual development of Genesis 3 the woman is 
specifically addressed in 3:16, while the man is the object of God's 
pronouncement of judgment in 3:17-19. If the "desire" of 3:1 6Z? is the 
desire of the woman to control and dominate her husband, then the 
sentence is no longer a judgment upon the woman; rather, it is the man 
who bears its brunt. Yet man's judgment is not mentioned until 3:17. 
"Since the punishment was specifically intended for the woman and her 
female descendants, and was not a penalty shared with the men, it had 
inevitably to be of a nature restricted to the female sex."'^ 

Fifth, in each of the punishments the pronouncement is given first, 
then an explanatory statement follows. In the case of the serpent (3: 14) 
the explanatory phrase is "And dust you shall eat all the days of your 
life." Serpents are not dust-eaters per se; rather, the phrase is an 
explanatory elaboration of the fact that they would crawl around on 
their bellies. In 3:15 the punishment is essentially enunciated in the 
phrase "And I will put enmity between your seed and her seed," with 
the subsequent phrase denoting the extent of that enmity, namely, 
death. In 3:17-19 the punishment directed toward Adam is the cursing 
of the ground (3:17fl); 3:\7b-\9 is explanatory, describing how this 
punishment would affect Adam and his descendants.^*^ The same is true 
in 3:16; the last phrase must be closely related contextually to the 
punishment recorded in 3:l6a. Since each of the explanatory state- 
ments in 3:14, 3:15, and 3:17-19 is inseparably linked to the judgment 
statement, it would be exegetically inadvisable to divide 3:16 into two 
separate, unrelated punishments. Rather, 3:l6b is elaborating on 3:16fl. 
The "desire factor" is not a part of the judgment but an explanation of 
conditions and relationships as they will exist after the Fall. Even 
though the intimacy between the first man and his wife was abrogated,^' 

'*Foh, Women, 67. The judgment of both the woman and the man affects their 
physical being. For the woman, pregnancy and childbirth will be accompanied by great 
hardship and toil. The judgment on man will also involve hard labor (note the same 
word [DSy = pain] used in both 3:16 and 3:17). 

"Cassuto, Genesis, 1. 164. 

'°Cf. Gen 4:1 1-12 where the punishment of Cain is a further cursing of the ground 
(4: 1 1), while the statement that he would be a vagrant and wanderer on the earth (4: 12) is 
an explanation of the judgment, describing the extent and impact of it. 

"'God's words in Gen 3:166 do not "destroy the harmony of marriage" (Foh, 
"Woman's Desire," 383), for such harmony was broken earlier (cf. "his wife" of 2:24, 25; 
3:8 with "the woman" and the phrase, "which You gave to me, she gave ..." in 3:12). 
Though Eve is later called "his wife," the initial intimacy appears to be gone. 


even though the unity with man would bring woman to the threshold 
of death itself in the process of childbirth, yet woman would still 
possess a strong desire to be with man. The broken intimacy and the 
pain in childbearing would not be allowed to nullify the yearning of 
woman for man and the fulfillment of God's command to populate the 
earth^^ or to alter the divine order of the headship of man. 

It is equally tenuous to maintain that the phrase "and he shall rule 
over you" was given because Eve had usurped the authority and 
leadership role of Adam when she took and ate from the tree of the 
knowledge of good and evil. The sin of the first woman was not that 
she took the lead without seeking the prior counsel of Adam. No such 
prior consultation was needed, for she herself knew God's command- 
ment prohibiting them from eating the fruit of the tree of the knowl- 
edge of good and evil (2:17). The woman's sin was that she exalted 
herself above her Creator. She took it upon herself to determine, 
together with the counsel of the serpent, if God's law was good or bad, 
if it was right or wrong. Her sin had nothing to do with denying Adam 
his rightful role of leadership in their marriage or with grasping a role 
that belonged to her husband. The only role that Eve usurped was 
that of God's, a usurpation that is characteristic of all acts of sin of 
all people living in all times of the history of mankind. 

Woman may desire to dominate or rule over man, but it is not a 
part of the punishment pronounced upon woman; it is just the essence, 
character, and result of all sin against God. Self-exaltation and pride 
always result in the desire to dominate and rule. Every person to some 
extent desires to dominate and rule over others — not just woman over 


One of the two passages most directly related to this discussion is 
Gen 4:7. While there are linguistic and thematic parallels between this 
verse and Gen 3:16, there are also differences. Furthermore, the 

believe that the broken intimacy, together with the deadly pain of childbirth, would be 
sufficient to place the command to be fruitful, multiply, and fill the earth (1:28) in 
jeopardy (cf. also Gen 11:4, 9). 

^'The NT commands to submit to the husband's authority (Eph 5:22; Col 3:18; 1 Pet 
3:1) do not suggest that woman's desire to rule over man is a part of the Genesis 3 
judgment. These passages incorporate admonitions directing slaves to submit to their 
masters, children to obey their parents, and younger men to submit to their elders, 
indicating that nonsubmissive attitudes and actions are the result of sin. To be certain, 
women may seek to usurp authority not rightfully theirs. But it is an action which is the 
consequence of sin and not a result of the judgment of Gen 3:16. 


interpretation of Gen 4:7 faces unique difficulties all its own.^'* Gener- 
ally speaking, there have been two interpretations. The less common 
interpretation posits Abel as the antecedent of ini7»u;'n ("his desire"), 
suggesting that if Cain does what is right, then he will be lifted up and 
restored to his position of preeminence which formed a part of his 
birthright as the older brother.^^ "From the latter clause of the verse it 
is evident that God alludes to the prerogatives of the birthright which 
Cain would be in no danger of losing if his conduct were such as it 
ought to be."^^ This interpretation embodies at least two favorable 
aspects. The first is contextual, for it readily accounts for the actions of 
Cain toward Abel in the following verse. ^' The second is grammatical, 
for in 1ni?»irri ("his desire") the pronominal suffix is masculine. If the 
antecedent were "sin [nXDn] crouching at the door," one would expect 
a feminine pronominal suffix, since nXDil is feminine. 

A more common understanding of Gen 4:7 is that sin, pictured as 
a wild beast, is waiting to pounce upon and control its victim. "The 
fern, nx^n is construed as a mascuHne, because sin is personified as a 
wild beast, lurking at the door of the human heart, and eagerly desiring 
to devour his soul (1 Pet. v. 8)."^^ This view benefits from the closeness 
of the pronominal suffix ("his desire") to the antecedent ("sin crouching 
at the door"); yet, despite the personification of sin as a wild beast, it 
suffers from the discord of gender. 

Regardless of which view one espouses, neither is sufficiently 
certain to allow it to become the basis for establishing the meaning of 
pW in Gen 3:16. It is readily admitted that there are some noteworthy 
similarities between Gen 4:7 and Gen 3:16. Both are given in a context 
of divine judgment. Both come from the hand of the same writer. Both 
employ similar terminology.^^ It is true that "the proximity of Genesis 
4:7 to Genesis 3:16 suggests that a similar grammatical construction 

Many commentators readily admit that the verse is one of the most difficult in all 
of the OT to explicate. Skinner (Genesis, 107) has observed: "Every attempt to extract a 
meaning from the verse is more or less of a tour deforce, and it is nearly certain that the 
obscurity is due to deep-seated textual corruptions." Suggested textual emendations are 
feeble at best and have generated little light. 

"The term nK^7 ("lifted up") is used in Gen 49:3 in the sense of "preeminence." In 
this view "desire" would mean "to be subservient to" as to the fitstborn of the family (cf. 
Gen 27:29). 

"^George Bush, Notes on Genesis (2 vols; reprinted, Minneapolis: James and Klock, 
1976) 1.99. 

^'The disaffectionate relationship which developed between Esau and Jacob over 
the matter of birthright (Genesis 27) is significantly analogous. 

^*C. F. Keil and Franz Delitzsch, Genesis (repnnt, Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1975) 

^'Gen3:16: ^3""??0' Xim ^rii7Wn T|U>"'S-'7X'1 

Gen 4:7: l3-'?u7ari nns] inu;wn t'^x'i 


would have similar meaning. "^'^ But since Gen 4:7 is besieged with 
interpretive uncertainties, it ought not to be applied unreservedly to 
interpret Gen 3:16. 

Furthermore, Gen 4:7 is not as parallel to Gen 3:16 as it may 
appear. First of all. Gen 4:7 is figurative while Gen 3:16 is literal. 
Hermeneutically, one should proceed from the literal usage to the 
figurative usage if one's exegesis is to have validity.^' Second, while the 
grammatical construction is similar, the two phrases are actually 
inverted in sense. In 4:7 the object of the desire (Cain) is also the 
recipient of the curse. However, in 3:16 the object of the desire (the 
man) is not the recipient of the curse. For 3:16 to be truly parallel with 
4:7, the desire of woman would have to be part of the judgment against 
the man. Third, similarity in grammar need not demand similarity of 
meaning. Verbal parallelism may be only coincidental. As shown 
above, the context of Gen 3:16 does not indicate that the woman 
desires to dominate her husband. If it is to be found in Gen 3:16, it 
must be imported from Gen 4:7. However, the context of Genesis 3 
must be given the primary role in determining the meaning of "desire" 
in 3:16 rather than the hnguistic resemblance between 3:16 and 4:7. 

The thematic links between Genesis 2-3 and Genesis 4^^ neither 
suggest nor imply that, as a part of the judgment of Gen 3:16, woman 
will desire to dominate man. For example, in Genesis 2-3 there is 
intimacy between God and man; then sin turns that intimacy to 
alienation. There is intimacy between man and woman; then sin causes 
intimacy to become alienation. In Genesis 4, intimacy between God 
and Cain turns to alienation, and intimacy between Cain and Abel 
turns to alienation. But in each case the broken intimacy, alienation, 
and punishment are not allowed to go beyond God's intended extent." 
In the example of Cain, his death would be strongly avenged (Gen 
4:15). The thematic relationship suggests that such is the case in Gen 
3:16^7. The alienation between man and woman and the pain of 
childbirth resulting from intimacy, would not be allowed to interrupt 
woman's desire for man, man's rulership over woman, or the carrying 
out of the command to populate the earth (Gen 1:28). 

CANTICLES 7:i0[ll] 

Cant 7:10[1 1] contains the third occurrence of the word pW: "I am 
my beloved's, and his desire is for me." While the meaning of pW may 

^°Foh, Women. 69. 

^'it is difficult to perceive how one could determine how sin desires Cain and then 
utilize that as the basis for determining how woman desires man. 

"Cf. Alan J. Hauser, "Linguistic and Thematic Links Between Genesis 4:1-6 and 
Genesis 2-3," JETS 23 (1980) 297-305. 

"Scripture is replete with instances of divinely established parameters in the 
punishment of mankind (cf., e.g., Exod 20:25; 21:23-25). 


be difficult to determine precisely in its two previous occurrences, there 
is little doubt here. It speaks clearly of the natural power and compul- 
sion of the love of an individual for another. The slightest hint of one 
desiring to dominate the other is totally absent. Says Zockler: "ni?iu;n 
as in Gen. iii.l6, the passage which lies at the basis of this, [speaks] of 
the longing desire of the man for the society of his wife, not of gross 
sensual desires for sexual intercourse. The whole is a triumphant 
exclamation in which Shulamith joyfully affirms that her lover cannot 
exist without her."^"* 

It appears that the usage of pW in Canticles is closer to that of 
Gen 3:16 than is Gen 4:7, notwithstanding the latter's grammatical 
similarities and textual proximity. First of all, the plain must be 
employed to interpret the obscure and difficult if there are contextual 
reasons to believe that both usages are similar. Such is the case 
between Gen 3:16 and Cant 7:10[11]. The abundantly clear meaning of 
"desire" in Cant 7:10[1 1] should be given priority in the determination 
of the meaning of "desire" in Gen 3:16. Second, "desire" is used 
literally in Cant 7:10[1 l],just as it is in Gen 3:16; in Gen 4:7 the usage is 
figurative. ^^ Third, in distinction from Gen 4:7, both Cant 7: 10[1 1] and 
Gen 3:16 address relationships between the opposite sexes. As such Cant 
7:10[11] and Gen 3:16 share a contextual relationship which is foreign 
to Gen 4:7. 

The true difficulty, then, is not understanding the meaning of 
"desire" as used in Cant 7: 10[1 1] and Gen 3:16, but as it is used in Gen 
4:7. This is noted indirectly by Skinner in his comment on Gen 4:7: 
"The word T]\?WFi is unsuitable, whether it be understood of the wild 
beast's eagerness for its prey or the deference due from a younger 
brother to an older."^^ The reason pW is so unsuitable is because the 
other two usages speak of the power of attraction between the sexes. 
To grant Gen 4:7 in its obscurity a determinative role in the interpreta- 
tion of Gen 3:16 without permitting the clarity of Cant 7:10[11] to 
permeate the exegetical process is to abandon hermeneutical discern- 
ment and propriety. 


The central consideration in the interpretation of Gen 3:16Z> is 
context; the meaning of "desire" is best determined in the light of its 

"Otto Zockler, The Song of Solomon in Commentary on the Holy Scriptures, by 
J. P. Lange (tr. & ed. by Philip Schaff; Grand Rapids: Zondervan, n.d.) 1 19. The rendering 
"1 am my beloved's, and it is an obligation upon me to desire him" is grammatically 
permissible, especially in light of a similar poetical use of 'Vy in Prov 7:14. However, it is 
doubtful on contextual grounds, for elsewhere the phrase "I am my beloved's" (6:3; cf. 
2:16) connotes reciprocity. 

"Cf. BDB, 1003. 

"Skinner, Genesis, 107. 


immediate contextual setting. The context bespeaks procreation and 
the continuation of Hfe, not the desire to dominate. Furthermore, to 
appeal to Gen 4:7 with its manifold obscurities to unlock the interpre- 
tive door of Gen 3:16 is to throw exegetical caution to the wind. It is 
much safer to apply the meaning of Ti\?wr\ in Cant 7:10[11] to Gen 
3:16, for while it does not enjoy the near proximity of Gen 4:7, its 
meaning is plain and its interpretation is virtually unquestioned. 
Consequently, it should be granted preeminence over Gen 4:7 and 
become the primary cross-reference in ascertaining the meaning of 

The text does not sustain the interpretation that one aspect of the 
woman's judgment is that she will desire to dominate and control the 
man. The last phrase of Gen 3:16 is not apart of the judgment; it is an 
explanation and description of conditions which will exist after the 
fall. Thus, the last phrase could be translated: "yet you will still desire 
[as you did before the Fall, though now tainted by sin] your husband, 
and he will still rule [as he did before the Fall, though now tainted by 
sin] over you." The alienation, broken intimacy, and pain in childbirth 
resulting from the Fall will not be allowed to annul that desire nor 
abrogate the command to be fruitful. 

In spite of the fact that man will rule over woman, and in spite of 
the fact that intimacy may result in the pain (and possible death) due to 
childbirth, yet woman will desire and yearn for man. The issue is 
broader than purely sexual but does not exclude the sexual elemfent. 
This interpretation does not imply that woman's sexual drives are 
stronger than the man's. While it is generally concluded that the man 
has the stronger sexual desire, such is to be expected, for there was 
nothing in the judgment upon man to temper it. On the other hand, the 
woman must deal with the pain of childbirth; thus it is to be expected 
that the woman's sexual desires would be somewhat moderated. 
Nevertheless, woman's desire for man is an attraction which cannot be 
uprooted from her nature. The contention that "sin has corrupted both 
the willing submission of the wife and the loving headship of the 
husband"" is unquestionably true. But it is a natural consequence of 
sin, not a result of God's judgment on the woman in Gen 3:16! Just as 
the sin-corrupted headship of the husband is not a part of the divine 
judgment upon the man but a consequence of sin, so the sin-corrupted 
submission of the wife is not a part of the judgment; it is the result of 

"Foh, Women, 69. 

^^While some may contend that the women's Hberation movement of recent years 
does not corroborate this interpretation (Foh, Women, 67), the opposite may actually be 
the case. Many of the women who speak out strongly against the headship of man 
nevertheless do get married and do bear their husband's children. Certainly it cannot be 
maintained that this interpretation is contrary to the broader historical perspective. 

Grace TheologicalJounml 7.2 (1986) 213-27 





Jack R. Riggs 

A brief review of the sensus plenior debate in Roman Catholic 
circles lays a foundation for understanding a similar debate among 
evangelicals and raises pertinent questions. The debate conducted 
among evangelicals focuses attention on the need for careful exegesis 
of Scripture passages {such as Dan 8:16, 19; 12:8; 1 Pet 1:10- 
12; and John 11:49-52) as well as the need to reexamine the NT use of 
the OT (e.g., the use to which Matthew puts Psalms 22 and 69). 
Furthermore, the evangelical debate points out the need to think 
through the implications of sensus plenior for such key doctrines as 
biblical infallibility and biblical inerrancy. A final issue raised by the 
debate concerns the reliability of the grammatical-historical method of 
hermeneutics as applied to the biblical text. 


EVANGELICAL scholars are aware of the hermeneutical debates that 
are taking place both without and within evangelicahsm. Biblical 
interpretation is an essential field of study in theological science 
because it attempts to answer the question: "What did God and, for 
that matter, the human authors mean by what they said in the Bible?" 
One question of recent concern for evangelicals has been over the 
proposed sensus plenior or "fuller meaning" of certain Scriptures 
found in the OT. The purpose of this article is to discuss two alter- 
native answers of evangelicals to the question, "Is there a fuller 
meaning to Scripture?" The one view is an affirmative response. The 
other view is a negative response to the question in that it affirms a 
single meaning for all the texts of Scripture. To prepare for the 
discussion of these two views, there will be a brief review of the 
background and the discussion of the idea of a fuller meaning to 


Scripture in Roman Catholic thought, since the idea seems to have 
developed first within that theological tradition. 


The first use of the term sensus plenior as a label to classify a 
meaning of Scripture was by Father Andrea Fernandez in the late 
1920s. His idea was not unheralded, for around the turn of this century 
there were Catholic scholars who suggested a sense to Scripture very 
close to the concept of sensus plenior. 

Fernandez suggested that God had expressed through the words 
of Scripture a deeper meaning than that which the human writers 
understood and intended. This hidden meaning is a fuller development 
of the literal meaning of Scripture. It is found especially in OT 
prophecies, but there are also certain Christian doctrines insinuated in 
the OT which have their fuller meanings in the NT.' 

The sensus plenior concept has received great attention in Catholic 
biblical periodicals since the end of the Second World War. Raymond 
Brown has been probably the leading spokesman for the idea in 
Catholic scholarship. His definition of sensus plenior is much like 
Fernandez's. He has defined it as 

the deeper meaning, intended by God but not clearly intended by the 
human author, that is seen to exist in the words of Scripture when they 
are studied in the light of further revelation or of development in the 
understanding of revelation.^ 

Brown considers the fuller meaning to be a part of the literal 
meaning of the words of Scripture and therefore distinct from any 
typical sense. ^ While the literal meaning is the meaning directly in- 
tended by the human author and conveyed by his words, this does not 
exclude any ramifications that his words may have taken on in the 
larger context of the Bible."* These later ramifications are the "plus- 
value" of the literal meaning of the author's words, which "plus-value" 
was unknown to the author.^ 

The use of grammatical-historical exegesis determines the meaning 
of an author's message for his time. But such exegesis does not exhaust 

'Raymond E. Brown, "The History and Development of the Theory of a Sensus 
Plenior," C^e 15 (1953) 142. 

^Raymond E. Brown, "Hermeneutics," in The Jerome Biblical Commentary, ed. 
Raymond E. Brown, Joseph A. Fitzmyer, and Roland E. Murphy (Englewood Cliffs: 
Prentice-Hall, 1968) 161. 


'Ibid., 607. 

'Raymond E. Brown, "The Sensus Plenior in the Last Ten Years," CBQ 25 (1963) 


the real and fuller meaning of certain texts, since God had intended 
something more, according to Brown. ^ The determination of the 
sensus plenior is either through further divine revelation in Scripture 
or through the development of the understanding of divine revelation 
by the Church.^ 

Discussions have taken place among Catholic theologians who 
adhere to the sensus plenior, but who do not agree on all points of the 
argument. The discussions on certain questions are pertinent to evan- 
gelicals, for these questions must also be treated in the evangelical 
debate. One question is whether or not a passage can possess a fuller 
sense if the human author was unaware of that fuller sense. ^ The issue 
here is, "can an author function truly as an author if he is unconscious 
of a fuller meaning of his words?" A second question is whether or not 
the sensus plenior is merely a literal sense to Scripture, or in actuality a 
second sense to the literal meaning.^ A third question centers upon the 
distinction between a fuller meaning and the typical sense of a passage. '° 
Is there a clear-cut difference between the two? A fourth question 
concerns the range of sensus plenior. Is sensus plenior limited to just 
the OT/NT relationship, or is there a real sensus plenior of OT texts 
discovered at a later state of the OT, as well as a real sensus plenior of 
NT texts discovered later by the church?" 

The questions prompted by Catholic biblical interpreters who are 
opposed to the idea of a sensus plenior to Scripture are also very 
pertinent to the discussion among evangelicals, due to the issues raised. 
Rudolph Bierberg, for example, opposed the fuller meaning from the 
theological perspective of inspiration.''^ For Bierberg, what might go 
beyond the understanding and intention of the human author is not 
inspired. Both God and men are the true authors of Scripture, with 
God as the principal author and the human authors as God's instru- 
ments. When the Scriptures were written, God limited the expression 
of His thought to the character and capacities of the human agent. 
Therefore, what God intended, the human author intended. The literal 
meaning is the intended meaning of the divine and human authors. If 
the sensus plenior is the literal meaning of the text, then there is no 
reason to designate it fuller. If the sensus plenior is an extension of 
meaning beyond the intent of the human author, then it is a new 

^Brown, "Hermeneutics," 618. 
'Ibid., 616. 

^Brown, "The History and Development of the Theory of a Sensus Plenior," 145. 
'ibid., 147. 
'°Ibid., 153. 

"Brown, "The Sensus Plenior in the Last Ten Years," 271-73. 
'^Rudolph Bierberg, "Does Sacred Scripture Have A Sensus PleniorT CBQ 10 
(1948) 185-88. 


concept and a different meaning, rather than a fuller meaning, and not 
the effect of the inspiration of a text. 

Bierberg also opposed the sensus plenior on the theological 
grounds of divine revelation.'^ When God revealed his truths, he 
intended them in their fullest sense which was the literal meaning of the 
words which the inspired writers used. The human author in any single 
passage was only quoting God and intended what God intended. 

Catholic scholars opposed to sensus plenior argue that what 
interpreters are dealing with is actually fuller understanding rather 
than a fuller meaning of earlier texts. Bruce Vawter illustrated this by 
pointing out that one ought not to refer to the God of the NT as a fuller 
sense of the God who revealed himself to Amos or Isaiah. While men 
have more knowledge about him than those prophets, he is the same 
God. There is nothing inadequate in the meaning or sense of the words 
about God which come from the OT.''' 

Thus a glance at certain debates in Catholic hermeneutics suggests 
that there are lively differences regarding the idea of the sensus plenior . 
The historical development of the idea in the Catholic tradition along 
with the debate that has ensued provides a very important background, 
while raising questions pertinent to the evangelical discussion. 


The hermeneutical idea of a sensus plenior to certain passages of 
Scripture is not the sole possession of the Catholic Church. Some 
evangelicals do see a meaning which is deeper or fuller in certain 
passages of the OT than the literal meaning. Their argument is 
basically that since God is ultimately the author of Scripture, it is his 
intention primarily that should be sought, and not the human author's. 
This is Philip Payne's point who has written that 

in spite of the crucial role the human authors' intention has for the 
meaning of a text his conscious intention does not necessarily exhaust 
the meaning of his statements, especially in more poetic and predictive 
writings. Ultimately God is the author of Scripture, and it is his 
intention alone that exhaustively restricts the meaning of the text to 
what he feels can be demonstrated to be the intention of the human 

God, therefore, could have revealed more through the words of a 
writer of Scripture than the writer fully understood. This appears to be 
the case in some passages. 

'^Ibid., 19L 

'"Bruce Vawter, "The Fuller Sense: Some Considerations," CBQ 26 (1964) 92. 
'^Philip B. Payne, "The Fallacy of Equating Meaning with the Human Author's 
Intention," JETS 20 (1977) 243. 


Payne's argument is that it is impossible to know for sure how 
much of an author's intention was based upon a conscious choice of 
words, since subconscious thought and perception are characteristic of 
human language. In the case of the biblical writers, their intentions are 
accessible only in their texts that have survived their times. We do not 
have access to them to inquire of them what their thoughts may have 
been at the time of writing. Hence it is difficult if not impossible to 
ascertain exactly what the intentions of a biblical author were. Error 
comes when intention is defined as "the author's conscious under- 
standing of the full meaning of his words at the time he wrote." An 
author may have written something that carried a meaning that he 
would later acknowledge and approve, even though that meaning had 
been only in his subconscious mind when he wrote. Since the Holy 
Spirit's influence was not something arising from the mental frame- 
work of the speaker, the Spirit's influence cannot be included neces- 
sarily as part of the author's intention. Consequently, at least in some 
prophecies the prophet was not cognizant of the import of his words. 
Thus for Payne, the full meaning of the prophecy was simply not part 
of the author's intention.'^ 

An interpreter can know when God has intended a fuller meaning 
of the text of an OT passage through the further revelation of the NT, 
according to evangelical proponents of sensus plenior. To be aware of 
a fuller meaning is to realize that there is an additional sense to an OT 
passage than was consciously apparent to the human author himself, 
and more meaning than can be gained through grammatical-historical 
exegesis. The exegete can see this only in retrospect through the light of 
the NT. Donald Hagner has summarized this concept as follows: 

This phenomenon occurs frequently in the New Testament, and however 
one chooses to describe it, one is faced with the perception of a deeper, 
more significant meaning or a fuller sense contained within and along- 
side the primary or contemporary meaning. ... It is this fuller sense that 
the New Testament writers are alive to as they produce their writing 
under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit.'^ 

The grammatical-historical method, therefore, does not yield the 
full meaning of certain OT texts where a sensus plenior is involved. 
William S. LaSor called attention to this apparent hermeneutical 
paradox when he wrote, "This grammatico-historical method, we have 
seen, has sometimes failed to yield a spiritual meaning. Where does this 

■'Ibid., 245-51. 

"Donald A. Hagner, "When the Time Had Fully Come," in Dreams, Visions and 
Oracles, ed. Carl E. Armerding and W. Ward Gasque (Grand Rapids: Baker, 1977) 91. 


leave us in our quest for the meaning in the Word of God?"'* LaSor 
explained further that the application of the fuller meaning principle to 
Scripture was not a substitute for grammatical-historical exegesis, but 
a development from such exegesis. It is not eisegesis but rather a 
reading from the text of the fullness of meaning required by the total 
context of divine revelation. While the human author did not intend to 
say all that can be found in the fuller meaning, yet the Holy Spirit led 
him to express God's Word in such ways that the fuller meaning was 
not lost.'^ 

J. I. Packer also views the sensus plenior as something texts 
acquire from an extrapolation of the grammatical-historical method. 
For Packer, the first task is always to get into the writer's mind by 
grammatical-historical exegesis. What the author meant, God meant. 
But God's fuller meaning, which can be known through further 
revelation, is the extension, development, and application of what the 
writer was consciously expressing.^'' 

There are several arguments used to support the sensus plenior 
idea in the interpretation of Scripture.^' One argument is that the OT 
prophets did at times speak things which they did not understand, 
according to 1 Pet 1:10-12, where Peter wrote that the prophets 
searched diligently "what, or what manner of time the Spirit of Christ 
which was in them did signify, when it testified beforehand the 
sufferings of Christ, and the glory that should follow." In the testimony 
of Daniel is another Scripture which seems to indicate that he did not 
understand the meaning of prophetic revelation which had been given 
to him when he said: "I heard, but I understood not" (Dan 12:8). A 
second argument is that there were occasions when prophecies were 
not understood by the contemporaries of the prophets. Daniel is again 
used as support for this in his statement in Dan 8:27 that not only was 
he astonished at the divine vision given to him, "but none understood 
it." A final argument is predicated on the case of Caiaphas who 
predicted the death of Jesus without being aware that his advice to the 
Jewish council that Jesus' death would be expedient carried prophetic 
force (John 1 1:49-52). The point is that when Caiaphas prophesied he 
spoke beyond what he knew or understood. This was probably true 
also in some instances of prophetic revelation in the OT. 

'^William Sanford LaSor, "The Sensus Plenior and Biblical Interpretation," in 
Scripture, Tradition, and Interpretation, ed. W. Ward Gasque and William Sanford 
LaSor (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1978) 267. 

"Ibid., 275. 

^°J. I. Packer, "Infallible Scripture and the Role of Hermeneutics," in Scripture 
and Truth, ed. D. A. Carson and John D. Woodbridge (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 
1983) 350. 

^'j. Barton Payne, Encyclopedia of Biblical Prophecy (New York: Harper and Row, 
1973) 4-5; and Henry A. Virkler, Hermeneutics (Grand Rapids: Baker, 1981) 25-27. 


The sensus plenior can be applied both to certain straightforwardly 
predictive passages, as well as to typological passages. Hagner sees the 
tracing or typological correspondences as a special instance of detecting 
the sensus plenior of the OT.^^ 

Some examples of predictive prophecies are the fulfillment of 
several statements from Psalms 22 and 69 at the crucifixion of Christ. 
The cry of "My God, my God why hast thou forsaken me?" in Ps 22:1 
had its fulfillment in Christ's words from the cross (Matt 27:46). The 
words of scorn and the shaking of heads in Ps 22:7 had their fulfillment 
in the hurling of abuse and the wagging of the heads of those who 
passed by Christ's crucifixion (Matt 27:39). The dividing up of gar- 
ments and the casting of lots for clothing in Ps 22: 1 8 were also fulfilled 
at the scene of Christ's humifiation (Matt 27:35). The prediction of gall 
for food and vinegar for drink in Ps 69:21 was fulfilled in the offer of 
those items to Christ as he suff'ered on the cross (Matt 27:34, 48). The 
fuller-meaning interpretation of the passages from these two Psalms is 
that both have their own historical context and referent. Both described 
the experience of an Israelite centuries before Christ came. But with 
sensus plenior in view, God so superintended the writing of the words 
of the Psalms in such a way that they have their fullest meaning in the 
crucifixion narrative of Jesus Christ. ^^ 

Another example of predictive prophecy is the first promise of 
Messianic redemption in Gen 3:15. To suggest that the "seed" of the 
"woman" who would bruise the head of the serpent was a prophecy of 
Mary, the Virgin Birth, and the redemptive work of Jesus, is to get 
more from the text than can be obtained through grammatical- 
historical exegesis. On the other hand, as LaSor has explained, to see a 
fullness in the promise that can be understood when, and only when, 
that fullness is revealed later in the text of Scripture, seems only 
reasonable hermeneutically. Scripture is like a seed in which are all the 
elements that will ultimately develop into the tree, its leaves, and its 
fruit. Yet when that seed is analyzed under the highest-powered 
microscope, those elements are not revealed. ^"^ 

An example in Matt 2:15 of typological fulfillment is the return of 
Jesus from Egypt to Israel while an infant in fulfillment of the 
statement in Hos 11:1: "Out of Egypt have I called my son." Another 
example is the slaughter of children two years and younger in Beth- 
lehem and its vicinity (Matt 2:17) as a typological fulfillment of Jer 
31:15 which describes the lamenting and weeping that took place at 
Ramah when Judah was taken into captivity by the Babylonians. 

^^Donald A. Hagner, "The Old Testament in the New Testament," in Interpreting the 
Word of God, ed. Samuel J. Schultz and Morris A. Inch (Chicago: Moody, 1976) 94. 
"Ibid., 97. 
^''LaSor, "The Sensus Plenior and Biblical Interpretation," 273. 


Matthew saw a fuller sense in those OT passages than was intended by 
their original authors. This was due to divine revelation given to 
Matthew by which he saw the correspondence between the OT mate- 
rials and events in his day.^^ 

To be open to a sensus plenior to Scripture is to consider that 
there is possibly additional meaning to certain OT passages, prophetic 
and poetic, than was consciously apparent to the original author, and 
more than can be gained through grammatical-historical exegesis. 
Such is the nature of divine inspiration that the authors of Scripture 
themselves were often not conscious of the fullest meaning of the 
words which they wrote. This fuller meaning can be seen only in 
retrospect through the light of fulfillment in the NT. 


An alternative view within evangelicalism to the idea of a sensus 
plenior to Scripture is the contention that both authors (God and the 
human penmen) said exactly what they meant to say in any passage of 
Scripture. Prophecy has only one meaning and not two in some 
instances, i.e., the prophet's understanding and God's later meaning. 
The fuller meaning view is antithetical to the claim of Scripture, so that 
if pressed consistently would lead to an outright departure from the 
concept of an intelligible revelation from God, according to Walter 
Kaiser, who is currently the leading advocate of the single meaning 
view.^^ Kaiser asserts that while God was the principal author of 
Scripture and used the vocabularies, idioms, circumstances, and per- 
sonalities of each of the human authors, yet there was such a unity 
between God and those authors that the latter did understand the 
meaning of the words of their written texts. The argument is based 
upon Paul's statement that his words were not merely the result of his 
own human intelligence, but the result of that "which the Holy Ghost 
teacheth" (1 Cor 2:13). Kaiser's explanation of Paul's statement is as 

It is the organic unity between the words of the writer and the work of 
the Holy Spirit that is the key point of the I Corinthians 2:13 reference. 
There the Holy Spirit teaches the apostle in words. Consequently, the 
writer was not oblivious to the import or verbal meaning of his terms: he 
himself was taught by the Holy Spirit. Such a claim can only mean there 
was a living assimilation of God's intended truth into the verbalization 

"Hagner, "When the Time Had Fully Come," 92. 

^^Walter C. Kaiser, Jr., "The Single Intent of Scripture," in Evangelical Roots, ed. 
Kenneth Kantzer (Nashville: Nelson, 1978) 123-24. 


of the writers of Scripture, rather than a mere mechanical printout of 
semi-understandable verbiage.^' 

Therefore God's meaning and revelatory intention in any particu- 
lar passage of Scripture can be accurately and confidently ascertained 
by studying the verbal meaning of the inspired text of the human 
authors. The single verbal meaning of the text can be ascertained by 
using the grammatical-historical method of exegesis. God imparted to 
the writers of Scripture just as much as they needed to make their 
messages effective for that moment in history and for the contribution 
to progressive revelation. What God meant they meant, and what they 
meant God meant. He did not make them omniscient.^* But this is to 
argue for authorial control, both God's and the human authors', with 
God's authority the ultimate control. Both said what they intended to 



The equation that the single verbal meaning equals authorial 
intention has been advocated by E. D. Hirsch who wrote, "Verbal 
meaning is, by definition that aspect of a speaker's 'intention' (in a 
phenomenological sense) which, under linguistic conventions, may be 
shared by others. "^° 

The importance of the application of this equation in biblical 
hermeneutics has been cited by Norman Geisler: 

The locus of meaning (and truth) is not in the author's mind behind the 
text of Scripture. What the author meant is expressed in the text. The 
writings {ypa(pr\) are inspired, not the thoughts in the author's mind.^' 

He further explained that "all we know of the author's intention is 
what the author did express in the text, not what he planned to say but 
did not express. Our knowledge of the author's plan (intention) is 
limited to the inspired text itself. "^^ 

If individual writers are not sovereign over the use of their own 
words, and if meaning is not a return to how they intended their own 
words to be regarded, then biblical hermeneutics is in a most diflficult 
situation, according to the single meaning view. In this situation 
communication would have been given, but there is uncertainty with 
regard to some passages of the OT as to whether or not the message 

"Ibid., 137. 

''Ibid., 127-28. 

''ibid., 141. 

^°E. D. Hirsch, Jr., Validity in Interpretation (New Haven: Yale University, 1967) 

^'Norman L. Geisler, "The Relation of Purpose and Meaning In Interpreting 
Scripture," G77 5 (1984) 230. 



has been fully received. When the normal rules of exegesis are applied 
to the words of these texts, the exegete fails to yield as adequate a 
meaning as when he digs into the fuller sense meaning of those texts 
given later in the progress of revelation. It is recognized that the 
interpreter is not able to gather all the special nuances that a writer 
may have had in his mind, nor is he able to gain a comprehensive 
knowledge of the total subject dealt with in a text through an exegesis 
of that text itself. But there must be adequate knowledge of what the 
author intended to say if communication is to be a reality. This 
demands authorial intent as meaning." 

Earl Radmacher suggests that to separate word meaning from the 
author's intent can result in multiple meanings and thus no meaning 
and thereby hermeneutical nihilism.^'* He also claims that to render the 
author without control and ignorant of the meaning of his words 
makes the Bible something less than a truly human document. ^^ 

Vern Poythress gives support to this idea that the single meaning 
of a text is located solely in the author's intention as expressed in his 
own usage of his words: 

Does 'meaning' have to do with 'what is going on in the speaker's mind 
at the time?' But 'what is going on in his mind' may include feelings of 
hunger or sleepiness, reminiscences about events of the day, and other 
material only vaguely related to the subject of his discourse. Let us 
therefore try again. Is the 'meaning' what the speaker thought about the 
discourse? This is close to what is wanted. But how do we find out about 
what he thought, except from the discourse itself ?^^ 

Grammatical-historical interpretation will therefore produce the 
meaning of the words of a Scripture and thereby the intent of both the 
divine and human authors. Grammatical-historical interpretation 
brings out of the text all that it contains of the thoughts, attitudes, and 
assumptions of the author. It will include the same depth of meaning as 
the writer himself included when, in the words of Kaiser, 

the interpretation is controlled by the words the writer uses, by the range 
of meaning he gives to those words as judged by his usage elsewhere, by 
the total context of his thought, and by the preceding revealed theology 

"Walter C. Kaiser, Jr., Toward An Exegetical Theology (Grand Rapids: Baker, 

^'*Earl D. Radmacher, "A Response to Author's Intention and Biblical Interpre- 
tation," in Hermeneutics, Inerrancy, and the Bible, ed. Earl D. Radmacher and Robert 
D. Preus (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1984) 433. 

'^Ibid., 436. 

^^Vern S. Poythress, "Analyzing a Biblical Text: Some Important Linguistic Dis- 
tinctions," S/r 32 (1979) 123. 


in existence when he wrote and to which he explicitly refers or clearly 
alludes by his use of phrases, concepts, or terms that were then generally 
known and accepted." 

Kaiser's concept of the theology that precedes the text under 
hermeneutical consideration is the accumulated and antecedent the- 
ology that "informs" that text. Such theology forms the backdrop 
against which the writer cast his own message. The interpreter is 
alerted to this important theological data through the direct citations 
and obvious allusions of the biblical writer. The theological conclu- 
sions drawn from a text would then be the objective data, including the 
"antecedent theology" within the text, which would be exegeted there- 

Once the exegetical work has been completed, then the interpreter 
can proceed to set the doctrinal content of a particular passage in its 
total biblical context by way of gathering together what God has said 
on the topic. This is the analogy of faith of the whole of Scripture. But 
the analogy of faith should not be used to extricate meaning from or 
import meaning to texts that appeared earlier than the passage where 
the teaching is set forth either most clearly or perhaps for the first time. 
Such an exercise is eisegesis, not exegesis.'^ 

It is recognized that there are passages of Scripture which do have 
a fuller significance or later ramification than what was realized by the 
writers. But such significance derives its legitimacy from an author's 
single meaning in the text.'*° The argument of Hirsch is drawn on 
heavily at this point in the distinction which he made between meaning 
and significance. Hirsch has proposed that, 

meaning is that which is represented by a text; it is what the author 
meant by his use of a particular sign sequence; it is what the signs 
represent. Significance, on the other hand, names a relationship between 
that meaning and a person, or a conception, or a situation, or indeed 
anything imaginable. . . . Significance always implies a relationship, and 
one constant, unchanging pole of that relationship is what the text 

Applying Hirsch's distinction to biblical hermeneutics, the meaning of 
the text is the single truth intent of the author, which meaning is 
constant. The significance of a text is the relationship that the text 

in Inerrancy, ed. Norman L. 
Geisler (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1980) 127. 

^^Kaiser, "The Single Intent of Scripture," 139. 
"Kaiser, Toward an Exegetical Theology, 82. 
''"Kaiser, "Legitimate Hermeneutics," 135. 
"Hirsch, 8. 


meaning bears to other passages of Scripture which appear later in the 
progress of revelation. The key is whether or not the objective basis for 
the later ramification of a text is contained actually in the text itself. 
Such a determination is derived through grammatical-historical exe- 
gesis. If the implication of the text is a different concept or idea from 
that which the normal rules of grammatical interpretation would yield 
from the text, then the sensus plenior is really a different sense rather 
than a fuller sense. ''^ 

Kaiser's response to one who would plead that the fuller sense is a 
biblical meaning which can be shown from another passage to be 
scriptural is: 

Then let us go to that passage for that teaching rather than transporting 
it to odd locations in earlier parts of the canon. The unity of Scripture 
(an important truth of Scripture) must not be traded for the uniformity 
of all Scriptures on any topic any of them touches.''^ 

John Goldingay sees an ambivalence in the fuller sense interpre- 
tation that is similar to the allegorical approach to Scripture in which 
meaning is brought to the text. NT interpretation of the OT, such as 
Matthew's in Matt 2:15, is not an inspired re-application of the 
meaning of the original text, but rather a utilization of the OT text's 
own meaning in later Scriptures. '"' 

Added to this is the observation of D. L. Baker that in the case of 
typology, the NT antitype is not an elucidation of the meaning of an 
OT text, but rather the description of a pattern of God's activity in 
history, of which the OT author may well have been aware.'*^ 

When the single meaning advocate turns to the several biblical argu- 
ments which appear to support the idea of a sensus plenior, he considers 
the passage in question to teach otherwise. The 1 Pet 1:10-12 passage 
is interpreted as a prophetic inquiry into the temporal aspects of the 
subject about which the prophets wrote instead of a search for the 
exact meaning of what they wrote. While the subject is invariably 
larger than the verbal meaning communicated on the subject in a single 
passage of Scripture, nevertheless, a writer can have adequate knowl- 

"^Walter C. Kaiser, Jr., "A Response to Author's Intention and Biblical Interpreta- 
tion," in Hermeneutics, Inerrancy, and the Bible, ed. Earl D. Radmacher and Robert D. 
Preus (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1984) 442. 

''Ibid., 445. 

''''John Goldingay, Approaches to Old Testament Interpretation (Downers Grove: 
InterVarsity, 1981) 108-9. 

''^D. L. Baker, Two Testaments, One Bible (Downers Grove: InterVarsity, 1976) 


edge of the subject at that point, even if he does not have a compre- 
hensive and total knowledge of all parts of the subject/^ 

The disputed Greek phrase is eic, ilva f\ nolov Kaipov / 'to what 
or what manner of time' (1 Pet 1:11). Should both xiva / 'what', and 
TToiov / 'what manner of modify Kaipov / 'time', with the resulting 
translation that the prophets searched "to what time or for what 
manner of time?" The Greek grammar of A. T. Robertson supports the 
idea of time/^ This translation is reflected in the KJV, NEB, Good- 
speed, and Williams translations. Consequently, the translation of the 
phrase to read "what person or time," found in the RSV, NASB, and 
the Berkeley translations is rejected. 

Daniel's question "what shall be the end of these things?" in Dan 
12:8 is interpreted as a request for additional information about the 
final outcome of the prophetic revelation given to him. He understood 
the meaning of the words which he heard but desired additional 
details. The exhortation which followed in v 9 indicated that no further 
revelation would be given and that the prophecy had been completed 
and "sealed" indicating its certainty and not its hiddenness."*^ 

A similar explanation is given to Daniel's statement in Dan 8:27. 
The lack of understanding was on Daniel's part and not on the part of 
his hearers. But the lack of understanding was not that the words or 
symbols of the vision were in themselves unintelligible, especially since 
the angel Gabriel had been commanded to explain the vision to Daniel 
(Dan 8:16, 19). Rather, in the words of Moses Stuart, 

the explanation, like the symbols and the words, is generic and not 
specific. Events are merely sketched; and with the exception of the 
terminus ad quern, time, place, and persons, are not particularized. 
Daniel was astonished at the destiny which hung over his people.'" 

Daniel was interested in more details than the Lord intended to reveal. 
Caiaphas did say what he wanted to say and meant to say as the 
High Priest in John 11:49-52, it is argued. He advised the Sanhedrin 
that it was expedient for them that one man die a vicarious death and 
thereby keep the nation alive. Kaiser sees John's words that Christ's 
death had universal redemptive implications as, a corrective to 
Caiaphas's wicked political counsel. For this reason Caiaphas had not 

Kaiser, "The Single Intent of Scripture," 125-26. 

* A. T. Robertson, The General Epistles and the Apocalypse, Word Pictures in the 
New Testament (New York: Harper Brothers, 1933) 6. 85. 

"^Kaiser, "The Single Intent of Scripture," 127. 

"'Moses Stuart, A Commentary on the Book of Daniel (Boston: Crocker and 
Brewster, 1850) 249. 


prophesied in the ordinary sense of the word. He did not belong to the 
class of prophets who received revelation from God.^° 

This alternative view to the sensus plenior in evangelicaHsm is that 
there is a single meaning for all of Scripture, which meaning is the 
literal meaning intended by both God and the human authors. There 
are passages of Scripture which have later implications in the progress 
of revelation. Such later implications are the developments of objec- 
tively given data in the earlier texts, and consequently, they are not 
some sort of superadditum or sensus plenior to the human authors' 
understanding and intent as expressed in their own words. 


Is there a fuller meaning to certain texts of Scripture? This 
question must continue to be addressed by evangelicals. The several 
implications of the question are of vital importance to both general 
hermeneutics as well as the special hermeneutics of biblical predictions. 
Since it is a question of biblical interpretation, the issue of the 
authority of Scripture also comes into play. 

As evangelicals continue to address the question, they must 
examine scriptural texts that seem to point to the biblical writers' 
alleged ignorance, passivity, or mundane apprehension of the messages 
which they received and delivered. Do such texts really show that they 
were unaware of the full import of the words of their texts? Could it be 
that those texts teach otherwise, and that coupled with the inference 
drawn from certain texts that the writers were taught of God, the 
Scriptures teach that the human authors did understand the full 
meaning of their words? 

A review of the biblical ideas of revelation and inspiration is also 
called for in the debate. If the human writers wrote beyond what they 
knew, then has not divine revelation ceased to be a disclosure or 
unveiling? What should the author and the first readers of their texts 
have known and believed by the words of those texts? If the meanings 
of those texts were somehow incomplete due to the need for the 
revelation of later fuller meanings, did the author and his contem- 
poraries hold to erroneous ideas foisted upon them by divine revela- 
tion given in their day? If NT quotations of the OT do reinterpret or 
supercede the original meaning of the OT writer, does this not break 
the doctrinal continuity between the testaments in the progress of 
God's revelation? Does not the doctrine of inspiration guarantee that 
God and the human authors meant exactly what texts said? If more 
was meant than what was said, is there not the danger that this "more" 

-'"Kaiser, "The Single Intent of Scripture," 130-31. 


that needed to be said might turn out to be a corrective to the earher 
revelation? What are the implications of this for inerrancy? 

In discussing the authorship of the Bible, one must not lose sight 
of the truth that God is the primary and ultimate author. But the Bible 
is also a truly human book since God by condescension did accom- 
modate himself to use human personalities and languages. Should not 
the same rules that are used to unlock the meaning of the words of 
the authors of other ancient documents be used to determine the 
meaning of the words of Scripture? Or is inspiration reduced to the 
idea of a theory that God placed ready-made phrases in the uncompre- 
hending minds of the writers of Scripture? 

The legitimacy of grammatical-historical interpretation may also 
be at stake. If the use of the grammatical-historical method does not 
produce the full meaning of certain texts, how can one be sure that the 
fuller meaning is in fact discovered by the application of that same 
method to later texts supposedly revealing the fuller meaning of the 
earher texts? If grammatical-historical exegesis is suspect at one point, 
should it not be suspect at all other points of its application? 

The questions are not easily answered. The task of resolving the 
issue will be strenuous. But the ultimate goal is the accurate interpreta- 
tion of God's Word for the edification of his people and his ultimate 

Grace Theological Journal 7.2 (1986) 229-34 


C. H. Spurgeon, Biblical Inerrancy, 
and Premillennialism 

John C. Whitcomb 

Lamplighter and Son, by Craig Skinner. Nashville: Broadman, 1984. Pp. 269. 
Cloth. $11.95. 

Many who consider Charles Haddon Spurgeon (1834-1892) to have been 
one of the greatest pastor-teachers in all of church history would be surprised 
to learn that he was the father of twin sons who also became preachers of 
God's Word. If Charles Haddon could be called "the forgotten Spurgeon" (as 
one prominent biographer, Iain Murray, entitled his book), how much less 
remembered are his two sons! 

One of his sons, Thomas (1856-1917), spent many years in Austraha and 
New Zealand, built the largest regular Free Church congregation in the 
southern hemisphere in Auckland (p. 53), and finally succeeded his father as 
pastor of the great Metropolitan Tabernacle of South London (1894-1908). 
The predictably hopeless task of effectively filling the shoes of his father was 
complicated not only by physical weakness but also by the jealousy and strong 
opposition of his father's younger brother, James A. Spurgeon, who had 
served well in the Tabernacle for several years as a copastor (pp. 99-1 1 1; but 
cf. p. 92). Others were brought into the conflict, including the noted American 
Bible teacher, A. T. Pierson (pp. 100-105). 

In 1898, during a Pastors' College conference, the huge Tabernacle burned 
to the ground (pp. 160-64). The rebuilding project was one of Thomas 
Spurgeon's greatest achievements (p. 220). Nevertheless, crowds were much 
smaller in the new building (p. 164), and "he held the fort with a diminishing 
following for years until his health made the task impossible" (p. 219). German 
bombs destroyed the building in 1941 (the reviewer saw it in this condition in 
September, 1945). It was rebuilt on a smaller scale in 1959; and then began a 
ten-year decline to practically a handful of people (cf. Arnold Dallimore, 
Spurgeon [Chicago: Moody, 1984] 243). Since 1970, however, it has been the 
center of a significant teaching and outreach ministry led by Peter Masters. 
The present reviewer was privileged to participate in the School of Theology as 
well as pulpit ministries there in 1980, 1982, 1983, and 1984 and appreciates the 
firm doctrinal position of the Tabernacle leaders today. 


While Lamplighter and Son exhibits significant biographical depth 
(Skinner's ten years of research are manifest in the sometimes lengthy 616 
endnotes and 36 pages of photographs), the value is somewhat tarnished by 
"imaginative reconstruction of inner thoughts and private conversations" 
(Foreword by Barrington R. White; cf. p. 223). Furthermore, it is disap- 
pointing to find theological compromise in such crucial areas as the inerrancy 
of Scripture. 

As an Australian, Skinner has had access to many facts and photos of the 
places where Thomas Spurgeon lived and ministered from 1877 to 1893 in 
Australia and especially in New Zealand. He also provides fascinating insights 
into the lives of other prominent Christian leaders of those days who were 
connected with or influenced by the Spurgeon family, such as Dwight L. 
Moody, Ira D. Sankey, Henry Varley, George MuUer, Joseph Parker, F. B. 
Meyer, Alexander Maclaren, Sam Jones, R. A. Torrey, Charles M. Alexander, 
J. Wilbur Chapman, John McNeill, and Gipsey Smith. 

Skinner gives special attention to the ministry of A. C. Dixon (1854- 
1925), an American disciple of C. H. Spurgeon who served as pastor of the 
Metropolitan Tabernacle from 1911 to 1919. According to Skinner, Dixon, a 
Southern Baptist, set the pattern for "the original" Fundamentalism, "a 
moderate (thoughtful, sensible, sensitive) positive defense of orthodoxy, with- 
out any extremism," through his editing and publishing (with the financial 
backing of Lyman Stewart and Milton Stewart) of The Fundamentals, twelve 
paper booklets, three million copies of which were distributed worldwide 
(p. 206). 

In these booklets, Dixon discussed "the supernatural authority of the 
Bible without utilizing inerrancy and infallibility as rallying points essential for 
belief in inspiration" (p. 207). In those days "many simply did not accept the 
fact that a commitment to absolute infallibility and inerrancy was essential for 
fellowship, or even right doctrine. Inspiration was the test, not any particular 
hard-line interpretation of the meaning of inspiration" (p. 207). Skinner 
concludes that "the current (neo) evangelical resurgence of today is a return to 
original perspectives" (p. 207). To him, men like E. J. Carnell, Bernard Ramm, 
H. J. Ockenga, and Billy Graham have "led the way to a new day in 
transdenominational fellowship, and promoted a social ethic that allowed for 
the highest commitment to biblical inspiration and authority without . . . 
bibliolatry" (p. 206). 

In labeling the doctrine of the inerrancy of the divine autographs as an 
extreme position (even "bibliolatry"). Skinner reflects the institutionally power- 
ful "moderate" (neo-evangehcal to neo-orthodox) wing of Southern Baptists 
today. He off"ers no biblical/ exegetical support for his "moderate" view of 
Scripture, exemplifying the alarming trend among neo-evangelical theologians 
today to ignore the implications of the teachings of Christ and the apostles on 
this vital subject (e.g.. Matt 5:18; John 10:35; and 2 Pet 1:21). Furthermore, 
Skinner evidences no awareness of the widely-publicized Chicago Statement 
on Biblical Inerrancy issued in 1978, six years before the publication of this 

Many who believe that every word in the biblical autographs was theo- 
pneustos (God-breathed — 2 Tim 3:16), and who also believe that Spurgeon 

whitcomb: spurgeon, inerrancy, and premillennialism 231 

preached this truth, will be surprised to find him and his son Thomas 
positioned on the inspiration issue with Karl Barth. Barth, we are told, 
adopted the "functional-infallibility perspective" toward Scripture, as opposed 
to "the total inerrancy position (correct in all scientific and historical details)," 
of modern fundamentalism, which can be described as "an evidence-judgment 
perspective" (p. 236). D. L. Moody, R. A. Torrey, and Billy Graham, as well as 
the Spurgeons, should be identified with Barth's position, not the funda- 
mentalist position, according to Skinner. 

Helmut Thielicke, "one of our most erudite contemporary German theo- 
logians" (p. 233), though well known today for his rejection of biblical 
inerrancy (cf. his Between Heaven and Earth [New York: Harper and Row, 
1965] 33-34) is likewise upheld as a model thinker on this vital issue. "C. H. 
Spurgeon consistently appears to treat inspiration as a result. . . . Helmut 
Thielicke defines the real secret of Spurgeon's power as centering exactly on 
this understanding." But this is precisely the tragedy and danger of neo- 
orthodoxy. The Bible is viewed as being "infalHble" (or even "inerrant") only 
to the extent that it speaks to man's heart, and thus produces a spiritual 
"result." This is apparently how Skinner can endorse Herschel H. Hobbs's 
explanation of the Southern Baptist confession of 1963 (the Bible is "without 
any mixture of error"): "while Southern Baptists hold to the inerrancy of the 
Scriptures, their infallibility rests upon the fact that they do what they are 
designed to do" (p. 234). 

As for Charles Haddon Spurgeon himself. Skinner is quite sure that he 
understood biblical infaUibility simply "as meaning that there was an unfailing 
confidence in the Scripture's ability to fulfill the purposes for which it was 
created, chiefly, the 'making wise unto salvation' purpose. There is no discus- 
sion of the historical/ scientific accuracy/ inerrancy question in all of Spurgeon's 
convictions regarding inspiration" (p. 255). 

It seems to the present reviewer that Skinner has failed to substantiate the 
above mentioned claims. What is known of Charles Haddon Spurgeon's 
strong stand for the Word of God during the dismal "Downgrade Contro- 
versy" in his final years (cf. chap. 6 in Iain H. Murray, The Forgotten 
Spurgeon [London: Banner of Truth Trust, 1973]) would surely have put him 
on the side of those today, a hundred years later, who are involved in an even 
more intense controversy against those in the Southern Baptist Convention 
and elsewhere who are denying the truth of the Bible (cf. Harold Lindsell, The 
Battle for the Bible [Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1976] 89-105). 

In The Authority and Interpretation of the Bible (New York: Harper & 
Row, 1979), Jack B. Rogers and Donald K. McKim have made a similar 
attempt to line up great Christian witnesses of past centuries in opposition to 
the supposedly recent and novel "Princeton-Warfield" view of biblical iner- 
rancy. The superficial scholarship displayed in this work has been carefully 
exposed by such theologians as John D. Woodbridge (Biblical Authority 
[Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1982]; cf. J. D. Woodbridge and Randall H. 
Balmer, "The Princetonians and Biblical Authority," in D. A. Carson and 
John D. Woodbridge, eds., Scripture and Truth [Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 
1983]). Even Clark Pinnock, no great friend of biblical inerrancy, has admitted 
that Woodbridge "dealt their thesis a deadly blow" because "Rogers/ McKim 


climbed so far out on a limb only to have it cut off behind them" (Review of 
Woodbridge, Biblical Authority in TSF Bulletin 7:1 [September-October, 
1983] 31). 

The fact that C. H. Spurgeon and Thomas Spurgeon did not spell out in 
exact late-twentieth century theological terms their convictions concerning the 
infallibility of the Bible does not mean that they would side with the anti- 
inerrancy position of Karl Barth, Helmut Thielicke, and numerous Southern 
Baptist theologians today. To imply that they would do so is neither fair nor 
honest in the light of historical facts. Skinner asserts that "there is no 
discussion of the historical/ scientific accuracy/ inerrancy question in all of 
Spurgeon's convictions regarding inspiration" (p. 255). But this is a serious 
blunder. Note, for example, the following statement by Spurgeon: 

The thoughts of God are in no degree perverted by being uttered in the words of 
men. The testimony of God, on the human as well as the divine side, is perfect and 
infallible; and however others may think of it, we shall not cease to believe in it 
with all our heart and soul. The Holy Spirit has made no mistake, either in 
history, physics, theology, or anything else. God is a greater Scientist than any of 
those who assume that title. If the human side had tainted the lesser statements we 
could not be sure of the greater. . . . But the human side has communicated no 
taint whatever to Holy Scripture [Sword and Trowel {\%%9) 551; quoted in L. R. 
Bush and T. J. Nettles, Baptists and the Bible [Chicago: Moody, 1980] 251; 
emphasis added]. 

See also C. H. Spurgeon's statement on inerrancy quoted in Iain Murray, The 
Forgotten Spurgeon (p. 64 in the 1966 edition and p. 56 in 1973 edition). 
Lamplighter and Son must therefore be placed, sadly, among the many works 
that have "passed along to mankind the concept of a personality somewhat 
weaker than the real Spurgeon. . . . Because his burning earnestness and 
unyielding theological convictions are so little known it is assumed that he was 
much like the average evangelical of today" (Arnold Dallimore, Spurgeon, 
author's preface). 

With Skinner's credibility as a theologian and a historian deeply shaken 
by these considerations, what may be said of his perspectives concerning the 
Spurgeons and premillennialism? AUhough Skinner now serves as professor of 
preaching at Golden Gate Baptist Theological Seminary (Southern Baptist) in 
San Fransisco, he did serve for several years (1979-1982) as professor of 
practical theology at a premillennial institution, Biola University/ Talbot Theo- 
logical Seminary. Nevertheless, he expresses great antipathy toward "the prima 
donnas of premillennialism" (p. 207) and their "eschatological encrustations" 
(p. 206), never pausing to explain or justify these heavy accusations. He is quite 
sure that it was William Bell Riley who "added inerrancy and premillennialism 
to [the Fundamentalist] creed" about 1921 (p. 210). However, by continually 
Unking premillennialism with inerrancy as the twin enemies of "the older 
Fundamentahsm" (cf. p. 205), Skinner inadvertently focuses the attention of 
his more theologically conservative readers upon premillennial eschatology as 
a possible result of interpreting the Bible carefully and consistently. 

Skinner asserts that Spurgeon and his son did not identify with pre- 
millennialism a hundred years ago in England. To some extent that may be 
true, especially with regard to the Plymouth Brethren movement. But the 

whitcomb: spurgeon, inerrancy, and premillennialism 233 

difference between Spurgeon and Skinner in this respect is quite profound. In 
the nineteenth century, premillenniahsm was only beginning to re-emerge from 
fifteen hundred years of Augustinian and Roman CathoHc suppression. Some 
of the earUest successors of the apostles, such as Papias, Justin Martyr, 
Ireneaus, Hippolytus, and Tertullian were clearly premillennial (see full dis- 
cussion in George N. H. Peters, The Theocratic Kingdom, 3 vols. [Grand 
Rapids: Kregel, 1952]). One investigator has concluded that 

there [was] a general belief throughout all the [early church] periods investigated 
that Christ will some time in the future establish a kingdom in which he and the 
saints of God would reign. . . . The kingdom will be established after the resur- 
rection of the righteous and those who give a length to the kingdom state that h 
will last for a thousand years [Charles A. Hauser, Jr., "The Eschatology of the 
Early Church Fathers (unpublished Th.D. diss.; Winona Lake, Indiana: Grace 
Theological Seminary, 1961) 228]. 

Spurgeon was largely self-taught in the Scriptures, and concentrated 
mostly on the writings of Calvin and the English Puritans. But today, 
theologians in the United States such as Skinner have immediate access to 
many more carefully written studies on premillennial eschatology than did 
Spurgeon. Even in Spurgeon's day, however, Henry Alford (1810-71), the 
dean of Canterbury, in his monumental four-volume edition of the Greek New 
Testament, insisted that the thousand-year reign of Christ following his 
Second Coming as described in Revelation 20 be understood literally. Six 
different times and in three different contexts the apostle John refers to this 
period as lasting "one thousand years." In the light of such exegetical facts, 
Alford wrote 

I cannot consent to distort words from their plain sense and chronological place 
in the prophecy, on account of . . . any risk of abuses which the doctrine of the 
millennium may bring with it. Those who lived next to the Apostles, and the 
whole Church for 300 years, understood them in the plain literal sense; and it is a 
strange sight in these days [1860] to see expositors who are among the first in 
reverence of antiquity, complacently casting aside the most cogent instance of 
consensus which primitive antiquity presents. ... If the second [resurrection] is 
literal, then so is the first, which in common with the whole primitive Church and 
many of the best modern expositors, I do maintain, and receive as an article of 
fahh and hope [The Greek New Testament (London: Longmans, Green, and Co., 
1894) 732, commenting on Rev 20:4-6]. 

Evidently, Spurgeon was not really opposed to premillennial teaching. He 
himself "expected a personal reign of Christ from Jerusalem" (p. 79), and 
warmly welcomed Dwight L. Moody to his pulpit, knowing that he was 
"clearly premillennial in eschatology" (p. 174). Others whom he welcomed to 
his pulpit, such as A. T. Pierson and A. C. Dixon, were also premillennial. 
Furthermore, he was willing to sign an Evangelical Baptist "statement of 
doctrine which closed with an affirmation of the pre-millennial Advent" 
(p. 79). This statement {The Sword and Trowel [1891] 446) concluded: "Our 
hope is the Personal Pre-millennial Return of the Lord Jesus in glory" (cf. Iain 
Murray, The Forgotten Spurgeon [1966 edition] 220). 


Why did Charles Haddon Spurgeon sign a premillennial document? 
Skinner, evidently perplexed by this fact, states, in the words of a student in the 
Pastor's College, "If he had drawn it up himself I very much doubt if he would 
have inserted that sentence" (p. 79). Perhaps so. But there is a much more 
probable explanation available; namely, that he respected premillenniahsm for 
its literal approach to biblical prophecy, but did not feel adequately qualified 
to expound on it. Spurgeon was well aware of his own growth in knowledge in 
certain doctrinal areas. For example, Spurgeon wrote, "The reader will, 
perhaps, remark considerable progress in some of the sentiments here made 
public, particularly in the case of the doctrine of the Second Coming of our 
Lord; but he will remember that he who is learning truth will learn it by 
degrees, and if he teaches as he learns, it is to be expected that his lessons will 
become fuller every day" (The Early Years 1834-54, vol. 1 of C. H. Spurgeon 
Autobiography [Carlisle, Pa.: Banner of Truth Trust, 1976] 395). 

Iain Murray sees much ambiguity in Spurgeon's prophetic views, disil- 
lusioned as he must have been at times by some extreme statements of 
contemporary preachers {The Puritan Hope [Carlisle, Pa.: Banner of Truth 
Trust, 1975] 261-62). Nevertheless, Murray observes that a "premillennial 
belief remained with Spurgeon throughout his ministry, [and] is expressed in 
some of the closing sermons of his life" (p. 257). "On one occasion he does 
speak of two future resurrections separated by an interval of time" (p. 259). 
Occasionally "he would proclaim a premillennial appearing in such terms that 
one might assume he had repudiated all his many statements on the other side" 
(p. 263). Murray finds it "not surprising" that "the premillennial hope came 
more to the fore in Spurgeon's closing years" (p. 264). In the light of all these 
considerations, the reviewer speculates that //"Spurgeon and his son were living 
and preaching in the United States today, where the majority of baptistic 
fundamentalists are strongly committed to premillenniahsm, and where an 
abundance of scholarly premillennial commentaries and theologies are avail- 
able, they might also be identified with those who believe that Scripture teaches 
a literal thousand-year reign of Christ on earth following his Second Advent 
and the literal accomplishment of all his promises to ethnic Israel in spite of all 
her sins as a stupendous testimony to his sovereign grace. 

In conclusion, Skinner has performed a service to the Church in bringing 
to light little known documents concerning the life and ministry of C. H. 
Spurgeon's son Thomas and of A. C. Dixon, a later pastor of the Metropolitan 
Tabernacle. But he has done a disservice to one of the greatest pastor-teachers 
of all Christian history, and thus to the Christ whom he faithfully served, by 
raising serious questions concerning the absolute and plenary inerrancy of the 
bibhcal autographs and by implying that Spurgeon (and his son) were similarly 
ambivalent on this foundational fact of special revelation. 

May the publication of a book like this provoke some faithful theologian 
and historian, under the providence of God, to a write the long-awaited, truly 
definitive study of the life and doctrines of Charles Haddon Spurgeon, for the 
encouragement of God's servants in our day. 

Grace Theological Journal 7.2 (1986) 235-44 


That You May Believe 
George J. Zemek, Jr. 

That You May Believe: Miracles and Faith Then and Now, by Colin Brown. 
Grand Rapids: Eerdmans; and Exeter, United Kingdom: Paternoster, 1985. 
Pp. 232. Paper. $7.95. 

That You May Believe is a popularized sequel to Brown's technical 
volume. Miracles and the Critical Mind. The author successfully targets his 
audience with a practical introduction (cf. pp. vii-xi), and a helpful organiza- 
tional survey and content summary (pp. xi-xiii). There is an annotated 
bibliography at the end of the book (pp. 223-27). 

Part I (six chapters) is entitled "Can We Still Believe in Miracles?" The 
leading paragraph introduces and summarizes both part I and chap. 1 ("From 
Foundation to Crutch to Cross"): 

In days gone by, miracles were seen as clear-cut proof of divine intervention. 
Christians answered their critics and persecutors by pointing to the miracles 
performed by Jesus and his followers. Miracles were like God's seal of approval. 
They were a kind of guarantee, for all to see, of God's backing. But today many 
people are unsure which side the miracle stories are really on. They see them as 
more of a liability than an asset. At best they have changed from being a 
foundation for faith to being an object of faith. At worst they have to be 
apologized for. Miracles seem to belong to the realm of myth and fantasy. They 
do not seem to have a place in the technological world of computers, body 
transplants, and space shuttles. From being a foundation for the faith, they seem 
to have become a cross that the defender of the faith has to bear [p. 3]. 

Concerning miracles and the apostolic testimony. Acts 2:22-24 and 
10:38-41 are cited as examples. A very abbreviated section follows on the 
apologetical significance of miracles as gleaned from the pages of church 
history (pp. 5-6). At the core of chap. 1 is an outline of the rise of skepticism 
(pp. 6-13). One of the questions asked is "Can We Be Sure of the Evidence?" In 
response, the critical mind reasons: 

What independent corroborating evidence is there for the miracles of the New 
Testament? We have the word of the books themselves. In some cases we also 
have the word of the early church fathers. But then, these fathers got their 
information from the New Testament. And so we seem to be back to square one. 


What we have before us are not the miracles of Jesus themselves but only reports 
of miracles. And there is a world of difference between seeing something for 
ourselves and merely reading a report of it [p. 7]. 

Another important question which prompts critical thinking is "Can 
There Be Violations of the Laws of Nature?" (p. 7). Spinoza is used as a 
paradigm of extrapolation in response to this question (pp. 7-9). During the 
Reformation period a far more benign question surfaced: "What Do Miracles 
Prove?" (p. 10). This was "a question not so much of whether miracles could 
happen [cf. Spinoza] but of what precisely they proved" (pp. 10-11). What 
becomes obvious through Brown's scanning of the skeptics is that because of 
this avalanche of doubt and ridicule, "the miracle stories were not simply a 
cross to bear. They had become a cross to be dropped" (p. 13). 

At this juncture the author challenges the reader with the crucial question: 
"What Then Should We Think About Miracles?" (p. 13). He detains a final 
answer but appeals to Augustine, Calvin, and Luther (pp. 13-16): 

Perhaps the time has come for us to listen more attentively to the witness of 
Augustine, Calvin, and Luther. If we do, we might find ourselves asking whether 
the traditional arguments are quite the right arguments. We might find ourselves 
asking whether we need to look beyond the apparent violations of nature to the 
harmony of a higher order, whether we need to look beyond the desire for 
objective proofs to the place of miracles in a sacramental universe, and whether 
we need to look at miracles not just in connection with the incarnation but rather 
in the context of the Trinity [p. 16]. 

As a result of this conclusion the reader may be sufficiently convinced of the 
shortcomings of the traditional apologetical appeal to miracles; however, it is 
not yet clear where Brown is heading. 

Chap. 2 deals with "David Hume and Company." In reference to Hume's 
two-phased argument. Brown does a commendable job in outlining this 
"classical attack" against miracles (pp. 17-23). There is also a brief survey of 
some of the most famous deistic writings (pp. 23-26). Commencing with the 
heading entitled "Pros and Cons," Brown evaluates those historical attacks 
(pp. 26-32). He correctly refutes Hume at the presuppositional level: 

At the outset of his discussion Hume laid down the principle that "a wise 
man . . . proportions his belief to the evidence." But he ends up by saying, in 
effect, that a wise man will refuse to look at the evidence at all. Or, if he does, he 
will just dismiss it. Once he has made up his mind that a miracle is "a violation of 
the laws of nature," Hume allows nothing to count as such a violation. Whatever 
evidence there might be is automatically dismissed [p. 27]. 

Subsequently, he exposes the fallacies and inconsistencies of Hume's four 
major observations (pp. 27-30). The author anticipates a future challenge (cf. 
chaps. 10-12) of the uniqueness of Jesus' healings and states in response that 
"they were not just any healings but the works of the Christ, foretold in 
prophecy and fulfilled by Jesus" (p. 30). 

"The Curious Case of the King of Siam" is the intriguing title of chap. 3. 
This title corresponds to the skeptic king from the writings of John Locke who 
would not believe in ice. His illustration prompted many generations of 
philosophical interaction (p. 33). The point that Brown makes is that "Locke's 

zemek: that you may believe 237 

story pinpoints the problem of miracles. It embodies what philosophers call the 
principle of analogy. . . . Experience in the past is my guide to the present and 
the future" (p. 34). 

The resurrection of Jesus is introduced next, and Brown responds with his 
previously anticipated argument. The thesis for which he argues is that "the 
very existence of the church cannot be explained without presupposing the 
resurrection of Christ" (p. 37). A brief but adequate explanation buttresses this 
historical thesis; however, he does not yet inform the reader of some of the 
Hmitations of such argumentation, though he states that "maybe our present 
experience should not fool us into imagining that we know everything there is 
to know" (p. 37). 

The author then proceeds from the previous discussion to a background 
for a definition of a miracle: 

Of course, miracles are improbable. They would not be miracles it they were not 
improbable. Of course, we cannot predict them in the same way the scientist 
predicts things on the basis of proven experiments. That is what makes them 
miracles. If they were common, repeatable events that could be reproduced on 
demand, they would simply be ordinary events. . . . Miracles are like warning 
flags. They signal the presence of a different order of reality that is present in the 
midst of our everyday world [pp. 37-38]. 

From this base he responds to Hume's skepticism by reasoning that miracles 
are "not so much as violations of an existing order but as indications of the 
presence of a different order" (p. 38). 

"Two Observations" capstone chap. 3. The first of these is extremely 
important: "Miracles do not normally serve to establish belief in God" (p. 39). 
"The second observation is that analogy is really a two-way process" (p. 39). 
After showing that the skeptic proceeds only down a one-way street. Brown 
states that "it may be that we are like the King of Siam. We may be using the 
present to judge the past, when what we need to do is to allow the past to judge 
the present and open us to God's future" (p. 40). 

Chap. 4 is devoted to C. S. Lewis's contributions to the ongoing debate 
over miracles. After Brown extols him and highlights some of "the lay 
Theologian's" apologetical works (pp. 41-42), Lewis's primary contention of 
preconceptions is presented: 

To Lewis the problem was not the amount (or lack) of evidence there may (or 
may not be) [sic] for any given miracle. The real problem lies in the way we look 
at things. Seeing is not believing, for what we see is regularly colored by our 
existing deep-seated beliefs. Not only religious believers db this. The atheist and 
the agnostic do it as well [p. 42]. 

Lewis indeed recognized the implications of one's worldview (p. 43). He also 
"believed in an ordered universe that was open to the personal action of human 
beings and of God" (p. 45). "Lewis saw a parallel between miracles and God's 
acts in general. ... He saw in . . . miracles a concentration of divine activity 
that performed in an instant what nature can perform only over a prolonged 
period" (pp. 46-47). Unfortunately, this could be read merely as accelerated 


The "well almost" portion of chap. 4 (entitled "C. S. Lewis to the 
Rescue — Well Almost") begins with Brown's appropriate reminder: 

In Roman Catholic circles there is a saying about Thomas Aquinas: "Thomas 
has spoken; the case is closed." In some evangelical circles today the impression is 
given that when C. S. Lewis has said anything, nothing much remains to be said. 
But has Lewis said the last word on miracles? Has he rescued belief in miracles 
once and for all? Lewis himself was more modest in his claims than some of his 
posthumous admirers. He deliberately called his book on Miracles A Preliminary 
Study [p. 47]. 

Brown emphasizes two significant strengths of Lewis's work on miracles: 1) his 
reluctance to become involved in certain scientific speculations, and 2) his 
consistent emphasis upon the preconceptions of materialistic determinism 
(p. 48). Concerning the former strength, Brown's observation is noteworthy: 
"Theologians and apologists can easily get out of their element in trying to 
draw implications from technical disciplines outside their expertise" (p. 48). I 
would assert that the reciprocal of this statement is also true. 

The major weaknesses of Lewis's argument are acknowledged by Brown 
(pp. 48-50). He first addresses Lewis's "leap of faith"; for example, "despite his 
many insights and incisive attacks on materialistic determinism, Lewis's philo- 
sophical theology fails to provide compelling reasons for belief in a miracle- 
working God" (p. 49). In reference to Lewis's "acceleration theory," Brown 
recognizes that "it does not really help us if we were to claim that the changing 
of water into wine and the feeding of the five thousand were really only 
accelerated instances of natural processes" (p. 49). Brown also challenges 
Lewis's idea of "miracles of the New Creation" (pp. 49-50; cf. p. 47): "Perhaps 
some of the other miracles [i.e., prior to the Resurrection] in the Gospels are 
better seen, not as Miracles of the Old Creation, but as anticipations of God's 
new order breaking into our order" (p. 50). 

"What sort of World Do We Live In?" is the theme of chap. 5. At the 
outset Brown astutely notes that "the answer we get to this question depends 
on whom we ask it" (p. 51). The author correctly points out the fallacies of "the 
God-of-the-Gaps View" (i.e., that "the supernatural is to be encountered in the 
gaps between the natural" [p. 52]). 

The author's main burden is given in the second portion of chap. 5 
(pp. 55-61). His first point is developed (pp. 55-57) and applied to our 
complex existence: 

In the divine structuredness of our existence God's grace is not an alternative to 
our human action. At the center of Christian existence stands the paradox. We 
are to work out our salvation with fear and trembling, living as creatures our 
creaturely existence in the world. But at the same time we are to realize that God 
is at work in us, wiUing and working for his good pleasure (Phihppians 2:13) 
[p. 58]. 

His second point involves the testing of claims. A very important caution 
surfaces in the midst of this discussion: 

I . . . think it is a mistake to try to show the truth of God and the world by 
arguing in the abstract. The attempt to prove the existence of God first and then 

zemek: that you may believe 239 

to show that this God is the God of Christian faith is full of pitfalls. . . . But the 
biblical writers never argued from an abstract God of natural theology to the 
living God of their faith. . . . They did not move from reason to faith. Rather, it 
was from the standpoint of their faith that they were able to express both the 
mystery and the rationality of life [pp. 59-60]. 

The last portion of the chapter ("Where Do Miracles Fit In?") is characterized 
by the author's acceptance of a both/ and tension between miracles and the 
'natural world' (pp. 60-61). 

In chap. 6 Brown attempts to answer the question, "What then is a 
Miracle?" He suggests that this question must be answered on two levels, the 
philosophical and the theological (pp. 62-63). He concedes, however, that 
these are not always distinguishable in practice, because "philosophy en- 
croaches upon theology and theology encroaches upon philosophy" (p. 63). 
The first portion of the chapter is largely a summary of previous personalities 
and arguments (pp. 63-69) supplemented by a survey of the distinction drawn 
by R. F. Holland between the "contingency concept" of the miraculous and the 
"violation concept" (pp. 65-67). 

As Brown more fully develops his own approach (pp. 69-74), he asserts 
that one must begin with a faith commitment (p. 70). Unfortunately, Brown 
fails to acknowledge the presuppositional basis of his interpretation of the 
event, though he later sides with the presuppositionalist (pp. 73-74). The 
author must also be challenged on most if not all of the illustrations given to 
argue that "some miracles in the Bible admit the presence of natural factors" 
(p. 72). 

"The Theological Question" (pp. 74-77) is introduced by an abbreviated 
survey of the OT and NT vocabulary for miracles. Brown contends that 
Deuteronomy 1 3: 1 -3 "became decisive for Jewish attitudes to miracles" (p. 74), 
and that "it is a characteristic of signs to point beyond themselves to Yahweh's 
ordering or overriding of nature and history" (p. 75). The author emphasizes 
the significance of the continuity of "signs and wonders" in the NT. Interrupt- 
ing his survey is an important reminder which has practical ramifications: 
"Both Jesus and Paul deprecated the desire for signs (Matthew 12:39; 16:4; cf. 
Luke 11:16, 19; John 4:48; 1 Corinthians 1:22). The demand for a sign is 
indicative of a refusal to respond to what has already been given" (p. 76). Little 
interpretation is given to the scriptural data; therefore, Brown concludes Part I 
by promising an integration and systematization in Parts II and III of his book 
(p. 77). 

Part II ("What Do the Miracle Stories Tell Us about Jesus?") unfolds in 
five chapters, beginning with "The Quest of the Unhistorical Jesus." 

What was Jesus really like? To many the Christ of Christian theology — and, 
for that matter, the Christ of the New Testament — is like an official portrait 
painted by a court painter. It is the work of devout veneration, but not a true 
likeness. Art and pious imagination have improved on nature. What is therefore 
needed is to strip away the official portrait of Jesus as a wonder-working divine 
being in human form and get back to Jesus as he must have been — Jesus as 
simply a man [p. 81]. 

He traces the "quest" from Reimarus through Schweitzer (pp. 82-90) and 
points out that this critical preoccupation had its conceptual roots in the Deists 


(p. 83). The passing of the baton to the History of Religions School, Neo- 
orthodoxy, and the contemporary skeptics is very briefly surveyed (pp. 90-93). 

In "Where Do We Go From Here?" (pp. 93-94), Brown acknowledges the 
frustration of this theological heritage coming from such a long string of 
skeptics, but he admirably warns the reader not to capitulate for the sake of 
gaining 'scholarly' credibility (p. 93). He closes the seemingly depressing 
discussion with a promise to provide the reader an assuring option in the 
subsequent chapters (i.e., 8-11). 

Brown introduces his option in chap. 8, "Unscrambling the Puzzle." 

Take the claim that is sometimes made: "Miracles prove the divinity of Christ." A 
variant of this is the claim: "Jesus was able to do miracles because he was the 
divine Son of God." We feel that we ought to be able to justify these claims by 
proof-texting them from the New Testament. But when we actually look at the 
New Testament, the picture there turns out to be more complex. Some of it may 
appear at first sight to be downright disconcerting. What we need to avoid is 
reading our own meanings into the New Testament and then, in turn, trying to 
justify our meanings from the New Testament. What we need to do is to start with 
the New Testament and follow its lead [p. 96]. 

Beginning with "two examples of early preaching" (i.e.. Acts 2:22 and 
10:36-38), Brown makes the point that they "do not move directly from the 
miracles of Jesus to his divinity" (p. 97). His thesis is that "we need to see both 
the miracles of Jesus and the question of his person in the context of the 
Trinity" (p. 98). Quite obviously, one of the author's motivations is to expose 
the traditional evidentiaHst approach. 

Brown launches into a discussion of the significance of the titles of Jesus 
(pp. 98-101). Several of his specific exegetical conclusions should be chal- 
lenged (e.g., his conclusion concerning the title "Son of God"; cf. pp. 98-99); 
however, most of his generalizations are acceptable. For example, he correctly 
observes that "it is an oversimplification to say that 'Son of God' expresses 
Jesus' divinity and 'Son of Man' expresses his humanity" (p. 99). 

"Miracles and Truth Claims" is an important section dealing with "the 
place of miracles in Christian apologetics and the part they play in the truth 
claims that are made for the Christian faith" (p. 101). Brown emphasizes the 
attestation factor of Jesus' miracles. He also argues that the miracle stories do 
not have the same compelling, evidential force for us today as did the original 
signs in their context (pp. 102-3), raising two questions: 1) in the light of 
natural man's fallenness, were these miracles designed to be directly and imme- 
diately compelling? and 2) by drawing such a sharp dichotomy between the 
then and now has the author not undermined the attestation factor of 

Brown next points out the shortcomings of appealing to the resurrection 
of Jesus for the apologetical purposes of arguing from the greater to the lesser 
miracles and also arguing that the resurrection proved Jesus' divinity 
(pp. 104-7). Yet he interjects his own contention that "the resurrection of Jesus 
is the one necessary explanation of the existence of the Christian church and its 
faith" (p. 106), thereby espousing verificationalism. 

Chap. 8 closes with the introduction of Brown's major subthesis, upon 
which subsequent discussions will be built: 

zemek: that you may believe 241 

One part of the picture still needs some unscrambling. It has to do with the 
difference between a sign and a proof. Signs and proofs are not the same 
thing. . . . This last point applies to the miracles of Jesus as "signs" no less than 
road signs. As we saw in the last chapter, one of the characteristic biblical words 
for a miracle was the word "sign." But in the Bible miraculous signs do not have a 
purely external function. They do not function like an external proof or guarantee 
that what is being said has the divine stamp of approval on it. The signs 
themselves are actually part of the message. . . . They were not external to the 
message but the embodiment of it. In the same way baptism and the Lord's 
supper are to be seen in the tradition of prophetic signs. 

It is in this tradition — or, to use the expression that we have earlier used, this 
frame of reference — that we can best appreciate the miracle stories of the Gospels. 
The miracle stories do not function as external proofs of the truth of the message. 
They are part of the message itself. They are an embodiment of the message. They 
are like acted parables. They have a story to tell. They confront us as signs that 
point beyond themselves to the one who performs them. To read them correctly, 
we need to understand the sign language to which they belong [pp. 107-9]. 

His subthesis stimulates both interest and concern. 

In "Remaking the Puzzle" (chaps. 9-11) the author turns his attention to 
the four gospels. Preliminarily, he vies for an inaugurated eschatology 
(pp. 111-15) and continues to argue that Deuteronomy 13, 17, and 18 are 
exclusively determinative for an understanding of the religious leaders' reac- 
tions to Jesus' miracles. There is a shaky embarkation into the gospel data as 
the author challenges the perspicuous interpretation of "a voice from heaven" 
(p. 118). This is followed by Brown's forcing of his messianic interpretation of 
the baptism with the Holy Spirit (cf. his "Spirit Christology," p. 121) upon the 
account of Mark 1:21-27: 

Mark presents a contrast between the two spirits: the unclean spirit in the man 
and the Holy Spirit who has descended upon Jesus and who now leads him. In 
Jesus' action of driving out the unclean spirit Mark intends us to see how Jesus 
was now beginning to fulfill John the Baptist's prophecy. It is the first instance of 
baptizing with the Holy Spirit [p. 1 19; cf. pp. 127, 133 for Brown's tenacious and 
often far-fetched application of this assumption]. 

Furthermore, he once again leaves with the reader the clear but errant 
impression that the Pharisees were merely applying OT theology when they 
reacted to Jesus' miracles as they did: 

The event leads to the decision of the Pharisees to destroy Jesus. Mark's account 
brings out the ironic contrast between Jesus' action by which the man's hand was 
"restored" and the Pharisees' action in taking counsel how to "destroy" Jesus. 
What prompted the action of the Pharisees, who enjoyed a reputation for their 
piety and devotion? The reason is to be found in the explanation we have given. 
They saw Jesus as an evildoer, a blasphemer who was flagrantly undermining the 
law and leading the people astray with his signs, wonders, and false teaching. The 
only course open for them was to follow the instructions of Deuteronomy 13 
concerning such matters and purge the evil out of their midst [p. 120]. 

Brown makes a transition when he says, "Alongside this explicit Spirit 
Christology, Mark presents an implicit Word Christology" (p. 121). His 
argument would be more palatable if the referents bound to "explicit" and 


"implicit" had been reversed. Nevertheless, Brown rightly stresses that "Mark's 
Spirit Christology is inextricably Hnked with a Word Christology" (p. 122). 
Many of the alleged parallels made by Brown in his ensuing discussion are 
forced or at least significantly stretched (pp. 122-30). 

Chap. 10 ("The Pictures of Matthew, Luke, and John") is designed to be 
step two in Brown's process of "Remaking the Puzzle." Herein the author 
restricts his data analysis even more and is thereby open to the criticism he has 
directed towards others, speaking in generalities. This makes it quite con- 
venient for him to interpret the scriptural data through the two lenses that he 
has prescribed: "These two factors [i.e., "Spirit Christology" and the leaders' 
reactions allegedly based upon Deuteronomy 13] are keys to understanding 
what is going on not only in Mark but also in Matthew, Luke, and John" 
(p. 131). Nevertheless, some of his generalizations are valid. 

A brief survey of Luke (pp. 140-44) is followed by an unjustifiably 
abbreviated scanning of John's Gospel (pp. 144-50). Certainly the fourth 
gospel's contribution to the understanding of miracles deserves more than a 
six-page treatment (e.g., cf. his superficial treatment of John 10:22ff. on 
p. 147). In addition, most of the author's efforts are directed towards the 
alignment of selected data with his previously mentioned "key factors." 
However, Brown does remind the reader that "John develops the theme that 
the works of Jesus can be recognized as the works of the Father" (p. 147). The 
author also correctly emphasizes the fact that Jesus' "miracles . . . had the 
character of prophetic signs" (p. 148), but he does not mention the apologetical 
controversy that this fact generates. More objectionable is the fact that only 
one short paragraph deals with Jesus' miracles and the reciprocal responses of 
belief and unbelief (pp. 149-50). Even though this volume is a survey work 
aimed at a general audience, its cursory treatment of the miracles in John is 

In chap. 1 1 ("Step 3: The Emerging Picture") are found both condemn- 
able and commendable remarks. For example, Brown's discussions relating to 
the coin in the fish's mouth, the water turned into wine, and the Gerasene swine 
indicate that he feels compelled to descandalize some of the most academically 
embarrassing miracle accounts (cf. pp. 153-56). On the other hand, his 
presuppositional acknowledgment of the Christian's "frame of reference" is 
commendable (cf. p. 158). 

Brown offers a generally credible summary of "Healing and Faith" 
(pp. 167-68). In answering the question "How are people expected to tell the 
true from the false?" the author notes appropriately that "all true miracles are 'in 
character.' They are in character with the work and words of God, as we know 
them from other parts of God's revelation" (p. 169). The author then states 
that "the miracles of Jesus were not all-purpose miracles that simply impressed 
people by their sheer supernatural power. They were miracles that fulfilled 
prophecy. The evangelists saw in Jesus the fulfillment of Isaiah 35:5-6" (p. 170; 
cf. pp. 170-71). 

The chapter closes with an expected return to the author's Deuteronomy 
13 construct in application to the messianic secret (pp. 171-72) and with an 
equally anticipated emphasis upon his "Spirit" and "Word" Christology 
(pp. 172-75). Labored applications are again evident. 

zemek: that you may believe 243 

The discussion takes a contemporary turn in Part III: "Can We Expect 
Miracles Today?" Chap. 12 ("Health and Wealth for All?") examines the 
"bewildering smorgasbord of competing claims" in reference to the contro- 
versial issue of healing (p. 180). The discussion is organized into two basic 
categories: 1) "The Appeal To Experience" (pp. 181-90), and 2) "The Theo- 
logical Arguments" (pp. 190-203). Brown expresses adequate cautions concern- 
ing appeals to experience (cf. pp. 185, 88, 90). In reference to the theological 
arguments he begins by not accepting the longer ending of Mark (pp. 191-92); 
therefore, he concludes: "In short, the church has no specific ongoing mandate 
from Jesus to heal that is recorded in authentic Scripture" (p. 192). There is a 
pointed discussion on "The experience of the Apostles" (pp. 192-95), in which 
Brown aptly develops the "paradox" of the afflicted miracle worker (pp. 194- 
95). Some of his least ambivalent conclusions occur in this context: 

The account Paul presents here of his experience (to which may be added the 
picture that we get from Acts and letters like Philippians) clearly gives the lie to 
the belief that the Christian life is one continuous success story. ... It is worth 
noting the miraculous healing was by no means the norm in the New Testament 
[pp. 194-95]. 

Concerning James 5:13-16, Brown unfortunately leans toward the early 
church's application of the passage to the practice of anointing the dying 
(pp. 195-97). In a subsequent discussion on "Healing and the Incarnation" he 
rightly reminds all that "there is nothing to suggest that because Jesus and Paul 
did miracles, the same gift is passed on to all members of the church" 
(pp. 197-98). Also commendable are his answers to those who argue for the 
continuance of sign miracles based upon a narrow interpretation of John 
14:12-14 (pp. 198-99). Equally satisfying are his brief treatments of "Healing 
and the Atonement" (p. 200) and "Salvation and Wholeness" (pp. 201-3). He 
expands the latter discussion in the concluding section of the chapter ("Dangers 
of Expecting Covenanted Healing," pp. 203-5). This portion contains the 
most important exhortation of the whole volume as Brown's climactic sum- 
mary indicates: 

Perfect health and healing are not things that we have any right to expect just 
because we are Christians. They are not guaranteed to us as our birthright any 
more than total and instantaneous sanctification. Nor has anyone the right to hold 
out promises of them to people if only they will believe [p. 205]. 

"My Grace Is Sufficient" (chap. 13) bolsters the author's previous warnings 
and pleas. The author also reiterates and summarizes his previous conclusions: 

My reflections on experience and my study of the New Testament suggest to me 
that the miracles that we read about in the New Testament were bound up with 
the manifestation of Jesus as the Son of God and his decisive work in salvation 
history. But they are not typical ongoing events. The signs and wonders belong to 
God's special saving acts, but they are not everyday occurrences. There is no 
specific mention of healing in the ongoing mandate of Christ to the church. There 
is no unqualified promise of physical health and healing to those who believe, any 
more than there is an unqualified promise of wealth and prosperity [pp. 208-9]. 


Following up he also notes that "this is not to say that one should not pray for 
healing. Nor is it to say that one may pray for anything but healing!" ( p. 209). 
He again deserves commendation for repudiating the common tactics of faith 

We cannot go on to draw the conclusion that only our lack of faith prevents us 
from being healed. Few things are more cruel than to say to someone who is 
crippled with pain or terminally ill that it is only his or her lack of faith that 
prevents healing. ... It is simplistic and dangerous to take biblical texts out of 
context and use them as pretexts for justifying our practices. ... It is wrong- 
headed to take prophecies like Isaiah 42: 1 -3 and 61:1-2, which applied specifically 
to Jesus, and to apply them to ourselves and our ministries [pp. 210-11]. 

In addition, "Nothing in the New Testament suggests that all physical illness is 
attributable to demonic activity," nor do we find "any warrant in the New 
Testament for cursing particular diseases" (p. 2 1 2). He also strongly rejects the 
wholesale equation of mental illness and demon possession (pp. 212-14). 

Because of the author's firm conclusions on these crucial issues he 
anticipates and answers those who would accuse him of espousing "a semi- 
secularized view of the world" (pp. 214-16). Brown's major conclusion pertain- 
ing to apologetical methodology is manifested when he again asserts that Jesus' 
ministry of healing and exorcism "was not designed to soften people up for 
accepting his message. It was not a kind of bargaining chip that he used to 
entice people" (p. 216). The volume comes to rest in a homily on Paul's thorn 
in the flesh which stresses the pre-eminent lesson for all Christians: "My grace 
is suflficient"! 

This new work by Brown on miracles does meet a need. Parts I and III are 
particularly suitable to a general lay audience. Minimal cautions need to be 
attached to them. Although Part II contains many valuable insights, it could 
confuse and/ or mislead the reader for reasons previously mentioned. Due to 
the combination of its brevity and its postulation of some unique interpreta- 
tions, it is advised that the reader of that portion be a solidly foundationed 
Berean. On the other hand, the same portion provides for the exegete/ 
theologian a convenient summary (in comparison with Miracles and the 
Critical Mind) of Brown's contributions to the ongoing discussion concerning 


When the Kings Come Marching In: Isaiah and the New Jerusalem, by 
Richard J. Mouw. Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1983. Pp. 77. $3.95. Paper. 

Mouw is Professor of Philosophy at Calvin College, Grand Rapids. 
Because of the differences that exist among Christians on the subject of 
cultural participation, Mouw has attempted to elucidate the relationship 
between Christ and culture and the Christian's role in society. Mouw would 
identify himself with those who long for the "transformation of culture." 
Isaiah 60, Revelation 21-22, and Heb 13:13-16 primarily form the basis for 
Mouw's discussion. This is not a technical treatise, but is more of a Bible 
study with sermonic insertions. Mouw does not allude to background materials 
regarding the genre, date, or authorship of Isaiah or Revelation. He pre- 
supposes that Isaiah is a unified book and uses "Isaiah" to designate the 
author (pp. xii-xiii). 

In the Introduction Mouw makes a rather startling statement that "bib- 
lical visions of the future are given to us so that we may have the kind of 
hope that issues forth into lives of active disobedience in the context of 
contemporary culture" (p. xv). Then he explains that his use of the term 
"culture" applies to the broad patterns of social life, including political, 
economic, technological, artistic, familial, and educational patterns. Later he 
summarizes his position when he asserts that human culture will someday be 
transformed. Then he asks. 

Does this mean, then, that we must begin that process of transformation here 
and now? Are we as Christians called to transform culture in the present age? 
Not, I think, in any grandiose or triumphalistic manner. We are called to await 
the coming transformation. But we should wait actively, not passively. We must 
seek the City which is to come [p. 75]. 

Several activities are proper to this "seeking" life. For example, human institu- 
tions should be called to obey the Creator, and programs of racial justice 
should be proposed. 

Several problems can be pointed out in Mouw's understanding of Isaiah 
60. In chap. 1 Mouw says that the cultural patterns of the eternal City will be 
more like our present cultural patterns than is usually acknowledged. He says 
that Isaiah pictures the Holy City as a center of commerce with the ships of 
Tarshish bringing wealth, honor, and glory to the Lord. He believes that this 
depicts God's sovereignty over culture. However, Isa 60:9 says that the ships 
are bringing God's people, Israel, back to the land. This will take place before 
the Millennium, not in the eternal state (cf. Isa 61:6; Hag 2:7). 

Chap. 2 centers in a discussion of the identity of the political rulers and 
the purpose of their being brought into the Holy City. Mouw quickly dispenses 
with the idea that these are exclusively believing rulers. He Unks this with the 


previous chapter's concept of the gathering in of human cultural endeavors 
(p. 25). He acknowledges that this raises many questions and states that "it 
would probably be wrong to speculate too much here" (p. 31). However, too 
much speculation has already occurred. There is little or no exegetical basis 
for these views. 

In chap. 3 Isa 60:16 is interpreted in the sense of doing away with racial 
prejudice (p. 41). Doing away with racial prejudice is a worthy endeavor, but 
this text does not support it. Rather the nations mentioned here will actually 
sustain Jerusalem. 

The final chapter cites Heb 13:14 and explores different proposals concern- 
ing life here and now. Mouw rejects the individual emphasis of John Bunyan's 
classic The Pilgrim 's Progress as being incomplete and myopic. Yet, he thinks 
there is some value in Faith's instructions to Christian. Mouw makes some 
good points from Heb 13:13, 16, but it is hard to tie these thoughts together 
with Isaiah 60 in any valid manner. 

It is this reviewer's conclusion that Mouw has picked the wrong text 
(Isaiah 60) for a book on social concern. He does not really "deliver the 
goods" in his interaction with the real issue of Christ and culture. This is one 
book which could be bypassed on this topic. 

Stephen R. Schrader 
Liberty Baptist College and Seminary 

Isaiah 1-33, by John D. W. Watts. Word Biblical Commentary. Waco: Word, 
1985. Pp. 449. $19.95. 

Isaiah 1-33 is the first volume to appear in a projected two-volume work 
by John D. W. Watts, OT editor for the Word Biblical Commentary series and 
Professor of OT Interpretation at Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in 
Louisville, Kentucky. The material of the two volumes is divided, somewhat 
surprisingly, after chap. 33 — a logical break in the book's argument according 
to Watts. This division is in contrast to those who would divide the biblical 
book into First and Second Isaiah after chap. 39. Watts's division results from 
his view that the book is an essential unity. The dust jacket states, "Dr. Watts 
argues convincingly for the unity of Isaiah, not a division that ascribes the 
book's composition to two or even three Isaiah composers or schools." 
However, such a statement is misleading since Watts does not view the book as 
the work of a single author, as the statement leads one to believe. 

Watts does not repudiate the generally accepted critical approaches 
found, for example, in Wildberger's work in the BKAT series — a work to 
which Isaiah 1-33 is deeply indebted. The author states that there is no 
indication that the book ever circulated among the Jews in a form other than 
the complete work now known as "Isaiah." It was forged into a unified whole 
by an unknown editor in 435 B.C., a date "which is late enough to include all 
the historical references in the book within a present or past perspective to the 
'author'" (p. xxiv). Watts argues that this "author" has formed a thematic 
unity out of the various traditions handed down to him. 

Watts sees Isaiah as a drama in ten acts which he entitles "The Vision." 
Chaps. 1-33 contain five acts, chaps. 1-6, 7-14, 15-22, 23-27, and 28-33. Each 


act has various scenes and many scenes possess several episodes. I believe this 
approach is valid for communicative purposes, but Watts does not use this 
arrangement for pedagogic reasons only. He argues that drama was widely 
used in Israel during OT times and that the book of Isaiah was regularly 
presented as drama. While the author is probably correct in stating that drama 
was a known medium in Israel, it seems untenable to posit that Isaiah was thus 
presented. The more plausible view is that the book contains Isaiah's oracles 
from different times and settings which he has subsequently woven into a 

Watts 's introduction to Isaiah needs elaboration at several junctures. The 
section on textual criticism gives no evaluation of the data. Additionally, 
one-half page devoted to the NT use of Isaiah is wholly inadequate. The 
annotated bibliography is also far too short. 

The organization of Isaiah 1-33 follows that of the Word Biblical 
Commentary series. The bibliography for each passage is followed by the 
author's translation, notes on the Hebrew text, a discussion of the form, 
structure, and setting, followed by comments and "explanation." Watts makes 
the awkward category of explanation into a recapitulation of the passage. 

The worth of Isaiah 1-33 is to be found in three loci. First, the bibliog- 
raphies of individual passages are helpful. Second, the notes to the Hebrew 
text are well-done and will be appreciated by those using the original language. 
Third, the comments are usually helpful and to the point. Unfortunately, 
Watts is sometimes brief to a fault. 

George L. Klein 

The Pauline Circle, by F. F. Bruce. Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1985. Pp. 100. 
n.p. Paper. 

For students familiar with the works of Oscar Cullman {The Johannine 
Circle, 1975) and R. A. Culpepper {The Johannine School, 1975) about the 
disciples who were believed to have been close associates of John the Apostle, 
Bruce's work on Paul's associates and friends will come as a pleasant surprise. 
"Paul attracted friends around him as a magnet attracts iron filings," writes 
Bruce, noting that there are over seventy people mentioned by name in the NT 
of whom we would be completely ignorant were it not for their association 
with Paul. In his investigation of this "Pauline Circle," Bruce rightly focuses on 
the apostle's closest co-workers — men such as Ananias, Barnabas, Silas, Luke, 
Titus, and Mark, and women such as Priscilla, Lydia, Phoebe, and Persis. 
Bruce's sources are Paul's own letters as well as the book of Acts, the former 
being the primary source of information about Paul's friends and associates, 
the latter being a trustworthy secondary source of knowledge about Paul's 
circle. Bruce's previous study. Men and Movements in the Primitive Church 
(1979), has prepared him well to undertake this logical sequel. 

This volume is successful in what it attempts to do: to survey the biblical 
evidence behind the men and women who surrounded Paul and influenced the 
NT church. The author manifests familiarity with contemporary Pauline 
scholarship and is well-versed in historical writings, from both a religious and 
secular perspective (where else could one learn that at the installation of 


Archbishop Makarios as first President of the Republic of Cyprus in 1960, it 
was announced that he was simultaneously successor to both Barnabas and 
Sergius Paullus?). 

Yet the scope of the book is also its greatest limitation. Bruce has so 
compressed his material that the reader is left longing for fuller sketches and 
fewer single-paragraph summaries of issues. By painting with such a broad 
stroke, Bruce has left teachers of the NT with the task of supplementing his 
supplementary study with the lively details of illustrations and implications. 
Why, for example, does Paul appear to belong to the circle of Barnabas (and 
not vice versa) in the middle chapters of Acts? Why do we have only Paul's side 
of the story of his protest over the actions of Peter and Barnabas in Gal 
2:11-14? What role did Timothy (or Silas) play in the writing of certain of 
Paul's letters? If it is unfitting that a woman should take the lead in a teaching 
ministry (as is widely held today among evangelicals), why is Priscilla usually 
mentioned before her husband Aquila? These and other issues are merely 
hinted at leaving the reader hungering and thirsting after answers. 

Moreover, even when Bruce does attempt to reconstruct the historical 
situation, he does not always follow it through to its final implications. If, for 
example, Onesimus is in fact the same bishop of Ephesus mentioned by 
Ignatius in To the Ephesians (2:2), why not cite the text of Ignatius's own 
words, which are a most beautiful testimony to the change wrought in the life 
of a man who was touched by the great apostle? Or if the tradition is correct 
that Mark was the "stumpfingered one," why not detail the imaginative 
interpretation of J. A. Robertson {The Hidden Romance of the New Testa- 
ment) as to how this tradition arose in the first place? 

But perhaps I am asking too much of a short book. Even though a lot 
more could have been said — and a lot has happened in Pauline scholarship 
since Bruce completed his material in 1983 — the book contains so many 
valuable insights that it can be highly recommended. The introductory material 
on Timothy and Luke is some of the clearest exposition for students available 
anywhere. The excellent chapter on "Hosts and Hostesses" is an eloquent 
reminder that the weak and needy apostle was often indebted to a wide variety 
of people for hospitality and was dependent not only on the grace of God but 
also on the grace and kindness of others — a salutory reminder that Christians 
are to be gracious as well as faithful. Yet I must point out in conclusion that the 
same personality which drew out people's good will and affection often 
attracted a good number of enemies. Is it too much to hope that Bruce will one 
day provide us with a book that treats the other side of the coin: those who 
could not stomach Paul if their lives depended on it? 

David Alan Black 
Grace Graduate School 

The Pastoral Epistles, by Gordon H. Clark. Jefferson, Md.: Trinity Founda- 
tion, 1983. Pp. 294. $9.95. 

The author, who was Professor of Philosophy at Wheaton College, 
Butler University, and Covenant College, has written many works on both 


theology and philosophy. The Pastoral Epistles is his 31st book. Several of 
these works have been published by the Trinity Foundation, a non-profit 
organization whose stated purpose is "to counteract the irrationalism of the 
age and to expose the errors of the teachers of the church." Hence Clark has 
written both to present what he considers to be true and to reject what he 
considers to be error. Negative content is considerable, and the reader may 
feel uncomfortable with the author's caustic style. 

Clark begins with a discussion of the authorship of the Pastorals. For 
someone who has struggled trying to help graduate students understand the 
nature of higher criticism, I was impressed with the manner in which the 
author blends the facets of language and theology into a coherent and rational 
defense of Pauline authorship. He seems to be unaware, however, of the 
current shift in European thinking on the problem — even among professors 
in rather liberal universities (Bo Reicke, for example, has long defended the 
authenticity of the Pastorals). Furthermore, the arguments against authen- 
ticity are not as "devoid of logical force" nor are the opponents of Pauline 
authorship as inclined "to undermine Christianity" as Clark thinks (p. xiv). 
Higher criticism has brought to light difficulties in NT introduction. Even 
though it has led some scholars to go beyond the available evidence, Clark's 
blanket condemnation of all critical thinkers seems to me to go too far. 

The bulk of the work is devoted to the exegesis of the three Pastorals. 
The author has provided his own translation of the text, accompanied by 
brief (one could say too brief) commentary on the text. In two appendices 
Clark addresses some relevant issues: the ordination of women, and the 
Presbyterian doctrine of ordination. The former is essentially a rebuttal of 
Paul Jewett (and a polemic against the institution where Jewett teaches). The 
latter is a defense of the ordination of men only to the gospel ministry. While 
I agree with the positions stated by Clark, I again found the author to be 
overly critical of the views of others, even to the point of using ad hominem 
arguments. There is certainly a place in Christian scholarship for voicing 
strong opinions, but in my view this place is not in a commentary that 
purports to be objective and scientific. Whether the author intended it or not, 
his commentary appeals more to the lust of a lynch mob than to the mind of 
a truth-seeking readership. 

This is not to say that the commentary serves no useful purpose. Its chief 
value lies in the author's interpretation of the text. Especially satisfying was 
Clark's facility in handling the Greek text without making it support a 
previously adopted conclusion. Difficult and obscure passages are often 
treated with uncommon skill (e.g., the discussion of the "trustworthy sayings" 
[pp. 21-23], "bodily gymnastics" [pp. 75-79], and "the grace of God that has 
appeared to all men" [pp. 220-22]). On the other hand, the author's treatment 
of "the husband of one wife" (pp. 55-56) is superficial, as is his discussion of 
the cauterized conscience referred to in 1 Tim 4:2 and the expression "the 
Savior of all men" in 1 Tim 4:10. One could also question Clark's statement 
that "Paul did not furnish us with a literary style worthy of imitation" (p. 5) 
in the light of 1 Corinthians 13, Romans 12, Philippians 2, and many other 
passages. Nor does one see the relevance of a statement such as "The New 
English Bible merits first place in the department of terrible translations" 
(p. 18) — regardless of whether the statement is true. 


Apart from the salutary points mentioned above, the work suffers from 
too many weaknesses to be a consistently helpful addition to the pastor's or 
the scholar's library. I believe that it is misleading to speak, as Clark does, of 
the love of the truth in terms of Christian rationalism — a rationalism which 
easily leads to a type of Christian gnosticism, a pride of knowledge, and a 
condescending attitude toward others. These qualities have little place in 
Christianity and certainly no place in a commentary on the Scripture. 

David Alan Black 
Grace Graduate School 

Hebrews, by Louis H. Evans, Jr. The Communicator's Commentary, Vol. 10. 
Waco: Word, 1985. Pp. 259. $15.95. Cloth. 

The Communicator's Commentary series, with Lloyd J. Ogilvie as 
general editor, is designed to provide historical background and textual 
interpretation, along with contemporary illustrations for each verse or pas- 
sage. The authors have been chosen because of their demonstrated abilities as 
gifted communicators. The author of Hebrews is Louis H. Evans, Jr., Senior 
Pastor of National Presbyterian Church in Washington, D.C., who has done 
postgraduate study on Hebrews at New College, University of Edinburgh, 
under James Stewart. 

Even though this volume does not provide an exhaustive treatment of 
the text, it does treat the issues of authorship and the original readers. Evans 
concludes that the author was apparently not Paul (p. 20), and that the book 
was addressed to Hellenistic Jews who were second generation Christians 
(p. 25). A fine summary of Jewish principles of interpretation is given, with 
a discussion of Halakah, Haggadah, Mishnah, Midrash, and Middoth 
(pp. 25-29). This becomes the basis for some of Evans's explanations. For 
example, the description of Melchizedek in Hebrews is viewed as a middoth 
in which a deduction may be drawn from the silence of the passage on a 
matter (pp. 28, 114). 

The presence of only an occasional footnote along with the inclusion of 
numerous practical illustrations shows the purpose and nature of the work. 
Occasionally one wishes that the interpretation of problem passages were 
given more attention, although the desire of a popular communicator to 
avoid getting lost in technical argument is understandable. In commenting on 
Heb 2:1-4, the illustration of a boat slipping its moorings is effective, but the 
author does not explain the theological issue in relation to salvation except to 
warn against carelessness. The difficult warning passage in Hebrews 6 is dealt 
with briefly but not satisfactorily. 

Evans gives considerable discussion regarding social justice, acknowl- 
edging it to be a special interest. What is not so clear is how this subject fits 
Heb 3:1-6, although presumably it was drawn from the words "faithfulness" 
and "apostle" in the text (pp. 18ff.). 

Much graphic enhancement of the text occurs (e.g., the description of 
Israel's grumbling over the manna). Some of the more memorable illustra- 
tions of the author are the Clydesdale horses (p. 85), nearly missing the boat 


(p. 96), building the Evans clan center (p. 90), rest amid the storm in a small 
plane (pp. 101-2), and blood sacrifice in warfare (pp. 166-67). 

This book gives a generally sound interpretation of the text and shows 
how it can be applied effectively through graphic illustration. It is not 
intended to be a reference volume for exegetical matters, but it is a fine work 
to encourage practical application of the text to daily life. 

Homer A. Kent, Jr. 
Grace Theological Seminary 

Paul's Literary Style: A Stylistic and Historical Comparison of 2 Corinthians 
11:16-12:13, Romans 8:9-39, and Philippians 3:2-4:13, by Aida Besan9on 
Spencer. ETS Monograph Series. Jackson: ETS, 1984. Pp. xii + 338. $13.95. 

"Does Paul vary the style of his writing to assist communication to 
different communities?" Aida Besan^on Spencer of Gordon-Conwell Theo- 
logical Seminary asks this question at the outset of her book (p. 1, cf. p. 5). The 
remainder of the book outlines and models the major steps of stylistic study. 
The upshot of it all is an affirmative answer to the original question: "The way 
in which [Paul] varies his writing style for each audience shows one reason why 
his writing was, and still is today, powerful" (221). This interdisciplinary work 
is adapted from Spencer's Ph.D. dissertation at Southern Baptist Theological 

For Spencer "stylistics" refers to the science of style, using linguistics as a 
literary critical tool by which to investigate the aesthetic effects of language 
(pp. 19, 33). This relatively new discipline has its roots in ancient rhetoric, 
literary criticism, grammar, philology, and linguistics. It aims to be descriptive 
instead of prescriptive. While Unguistics is concerned with a strictly structural 
analysis of language, stylistics probes the aesthetic element of language (p. 21). 
The methodology involved can be summarized in five steps (pp. 27-33): 

1. Choosing at least two contextually comparable samples for analysis 

2. Initial intuitive response to the texts and judgment of their features 

3. Gathering data and objectively describing the language of the texts (stylolinguistics) 

4. Relating the data to the author's rhetorical strategy and its desired effect upon 
readers (stylobehavioristics) 

5. Relating the data of 3 and 4 to the literary context of the text. 

Ten separate operations are involved in Spencer's data-gathering step. 
These involve sentence changes, the complexity of ^the writing, adverbs, 
prepositional reduction, logical diagrams, abstract and concrete nouns, imagery, 
Leo Spitzer's philological circle, verb density, and sentence length (pp. 33-64). 
Spencer believes that the method is eminently suited to augment traditional 
approaches to NT grammar and exegesis. Traditionally grammarians have 
merely touched upon style and rhetoric, so further analysis is warranted. The 
compatibility of stylistics with grammatical studies is illustrated by Spencer's 
historical-grammatical analysis of the three main passages she has chosen. The 
conclusion drawn from 2 Cor 11:16-12:13 is that Paul employed an indirect 
style due to the unreceptiveness of the Corinthians (pp. 6, 204-5). A more 


direct and expressive style is discovered in Phil 3:2-4:13 where Paul communi- 
cates with the receptive Philippians (pp. 205-6). Spencer discovers that the 
complex, impersonal, and abstract style of Rom 8:9-39 is appropriate for 
Paul's less direct relationship with the believers at Rome (pp. 206-9). Though 
there are constant characteristics in Paul's writing to all three congregations, 
there are also "striking differences" (p. 215). These differences are statistically 
delineated in the various tables of Appendix I (pp. 237-79). 

Turning from summary to evaluation, Spencer should be commended for 
introducing stylistics to NT scholars. This discipline will no doubt complement 
the more traditional approaches to grammar and exegesis. It should broaden 
the exegetical perspective and aid in the avoidance of the atomistic and 
mechanical excesses sometimes associated with traditional grammatical 
approaches. Additionally, a grasp of intrinsic rhetorical devices should prove 
invaluable to those concerned with the dynamic communication of the text's 
contemporary significance. Understanding the warmth and beauty of the text 
is as much a part of the exegetical process as the verb tenses and noun cases. 
Sometimes academic exegesis has overlooked these matters. For those who 
desire further information, Spencer has added a helpful Appendix defining and 
illustrating rhetorical terms (pp. 280-313). An extensive bibliography is also 
included (pp. 222-36). 

Spencer's work does raise a few questions. First, were the rhetorical 
categories she utilizes current in the Mediterranean world of Paul's day? Are 
such categories primarily Hellenistic or Judaistic, or is rhetoric transcultural in 
nature? Another question relates to the distinction made between style as 
unconscious and rhetoric as conscious (pp. 26-27). How does this seemingly 
artificial distinction relate to the concepts langue and parole used by other 
linguists? One also wonders about the applicability of the method to other NT 
authors. How would it work for other NT authors whose materials are much 
less extensive than Paul's? Finally, a method as complex as Spencer's will tend 
to turn away some students. To some extent it is inevitably idiosyncratic and 
subjective, as shown by the strong conclusions drawn from a mere 2-3% 
difference in the number of passive verbs in the three passages (p. 151). There 
are also occasions when the connection between the styUstic observation and 
the resulting interpretation is not clear. A case in point might be the assertion 
regarding the relationship between adverbs of manner and an impersonal 
atmosphere (p. 156). 

Spencer should be congratulated for her stimulating approach to a 
neglected area of exegesis. Now it is up to others to refine the method she has 

David L. Turner 
Grand Rapids Baptist Seminary 

Hal Lindsey's Prophetic Jigsaw Puzzle: Five Predictions That Failed, by 
Samuele Bacchiocchi. Berrien Springs: Biblical Perspectives, 1985. Pp. 90. 
$2.95. Paper. 

Samuele Bacchiocchi, Professor of Church History and Theology at 
Andrews University, has written this booklet with a twofold aim. First, he 


wishes to point out the fundamental error of Hal Lindsey's dispensationalism 
by showing that five of Lindsey's predictions have not yet occurred and are 
unlikely to occur in the future. Second, he is concerned that believers under- 
stand the true nature and function of biblical prophecy (p. 11). As the 
argument unfolds, it becomes clear that the first objective occupies roughly 
three-fourths of the book. Thus the main burden is to refute Lindsey's 
"sensational but senseless" (p. 10) prophetic interpretation. Such interpretation 
is candidly labeled as "capricious" (p. 15), "arbitrary" (pp. 55, 58), and 
"irresponsible" (pp. 58-59). Perhaps Bacchiocchi's Adventist connections have 
sensitized him to the dangers of prophetic speculation. 

The booklet is photographically reproduced from typewritten originals. 
It is well done, though there are occasional typographical errors (pp. 27, 30, 
31, 67, 84, 87, back cover). Though the format is easy to follow, chap. 1 
needlessly rehashes the preface and could have been omitted. Similarly, 
chap. 5 is very brief and could have been used as a conclusion, which is 
otherwise lacking. 

To summarize, the book lists five of Lindsey's errors. These five errors 
essentially stem from Lindsey's view that the establishment of the modern 
state of Israel in 1948 was the budding of the fig tree (Matt 24:32-33). Thus 
"this generation" (Matt 24:34) is the generation alive in 1948. Given the 
normal length of a biblical generation as forty years, the Second Coming of 
Christ to earth should occur around 1988, with a pretribulational rapture 
occurring around 1981. Of course, such a rapture did not occur and Lindsey's 
whole approach is thereby discredited, at least in Bacchiocchi's view. This is 
the dominant theme of the entire book (cf. pp. 21-26, 30, 33-34, 42-44, 52, 
57, 66-67, 72). 

Though Bacchiocchi is correct that Lindsey's view of Matt 24:32-34 
is untenable, his argument suffers from several misconceptions and non 
sequiturs. First, Lindsey never explicitly sets 1988 as the exact date of the 
second coming. Second, Bacchiocchi does not properly distance Lindsey's 
more sensational approach from that of mainline dispensationalism. He admits 
this distance at one point (p. 16), but often implies that his refutation of 
Lindsey refutes most dispensationalists (pp. 10, 16, 20-21, 24, 34, 42, 46, 49, 
50, 90). Third, he never really focuses attention upon the main tenets of 
dispensationalism — these are only briefly mentioned (pp. 42-44). Rather, 
attention is given to an admittedly tenuous interpretation of Matt 24:32-34, 
which in any event will not cause dispensationalism as a system to stand or 
fall. Fourth, the dispensationalists to which he prominently and specifically 
refers are not leading spokesmen for mainline dispensationalism (pp. 21, 
24-25, 49; more responsible and credible spokesmen are mentioned mainly in 
footnotes, as on pp. 27, 38). Fifth, there are some dubious assertions about 
dispensationalism. For example, it is doubtful that J. N. Darby rejected the 
unity of the biblical covenants (p. 20). Also, dispensationaUsts do not normally 
arrive at the seven year length of the tribulation by adding the 42 months and 
1260 days of Rev 11:2-3 (p. 31). It is doubtful that many dispensationalists 
believe that "what the Scripture says about Israel cannot be applied to the 
church and vice versa" (p. 43). Similarly, few dispensationalists base their 
view of the imminence of Christ's return upon recent events in the Middle 
East (p. 68). Sixth, though the book is generally irenic, there are times when 


sarcasm (pp. 66-67) and guilt by association (p. 10) tinge the rhetoric. On 
this note one wonders about Bacchiocchi's basis for implying that dispensa- 
tionalists fabricated the bizarre rumors which circulated several years ago 
regarding shipments of Indiana limestone reportedly being made to Israel for 
the rebuilding of the temple (p. 50). 

I must agree with Bacchiocchi on the imminence of Christ's personal 
return to the earth (pp. 11, 25). I share his concern that date-setting sensa- 
tionahsm causes Christians to look wrongly for impersonal events rather than 
for our personal Savior (pp. 16, 68). He also may be correct that Lindsey's 
"datesetting" was "shaped more by current trends than by the Scripture" 
(p. 54). However, Bacchiocchi's expose of Lindsey's sensational elements 
hardly refutes Lindsey's system, let alone that of more cautious dispensa- 

All of this points to the need for dispensationalists to refine their system 
in view of the Bible, not the newspaper. Sensationalism may temporarily 
please the crowd, but it will ultimately hurt God's people. Here not only 
dispensationalism but also other schools of prophetic interpretation should 
take heed. 

David L. Turner 
Grace Theological Seminary 

The Controversy: Roots of the Creation- Evolution Conflict, by Donald E. 
Chittick. Portland: Multnomah, 1984. Pp. 280. $12.95. 

For those who have been looking for an easy-to-read introduction to the 
labyrinth of creation/ evolution controversy written by a competent scientist 
(Chittick has a Ph.D. in chemistry and 21 years of teaching experience) who 
knows and believes the Word of God, this book will meet the need. Since 1965, 
when I first shared with Dr. Chittick in a Bible and Science seminar held at 
Western Conservative Baptist Seminary in Portland, I have learned to appre- 
ciate his wisdom and graciousness in handling the issues concerning ultimate 
origins that divide men so deeply today. It was, therefore, with great anticipa- 
tion that I began to study his first major published work. I have not been 
disappointed. The book is aimed at the concerned Christian layman, including 
senior high and college students who are bewildered by the impressive claims 
of apparently authoritative evolutionary scientists. 

In a remarkably refreshing way, the author exposes the shallow reasoning 
and false presuppositions of secular scientism on the subject of ultimate origins 
(pp. 55, 83-84), and boldly sets forth his own faith-commitment to the glorious 
God who has revealed himself in the Bible (pp. 264, 267). Beginning his 
Christian experience as a theistic evolutionist, the author soon discovered that 
such a position "compromised and downgraded Scripture" (p. 95). He found 
that an honest confession of faith in the truth of the Bible opened doors of 
opportunity that otherwise might have be closed to him (pp. 99-100). 

Chittick lists "six major veils that make it diflficult to reconstruct earth 
history from a creation viewpoint." These are the Fall, the Flood, thousands 
of intervening years, contemporary cultural conditioning, evolutionary per- 
spectives concerning early man, and the entire system of public education 


(pp. 184-92). But these "veils" should not cause the Christian to despair of 
attaining an adequate and true knowledge of ultimate origins, for "these are 
the kinds of odds God Hkes" (p. 190). 

The author provides an excellent balance when he urges "a positive 
attitude toward a teacher who presents views that disagree with biblical 
teachings," while at the same time strongly rejecting all "pagan ideas" 
(pp. 257-58). The Christian must also beware of allowing himself to be trapped 
by dishonest questions. He must follow the example of the Lord Jesus in this 
matter, and test the true motives of questioners in order that they may be 
helped toward God's truth (pp. 259-61). 

From the perspective of scientific creationism, the author provides some 
very helpful insights. For example, 

the fossil record tells us that we have only a dim representation of life forms today 
compared to what existed in the past. If a large number of trees existed together 
in the garden of Eden, that means there must have been a warm, subtropical 
climate. It is not possible for wide varieties of trees to exist in colder or temperate 
climates. In subtropical areas, it is not uncommon for several hundred different 
types of trees to grow within an area of one square mile [p. 193]. 

Did Adam possess a "primitive" mentality? The fact that he named all the 
birds and mammals of the world "on the basis of their characteristics implies 
high mental capability. It is difficult even for one who has studied animals to be 
able to name from memory all the animals of the United States, let alone the 
entire world" (p. 201). The fact that Adam's immediate descendants forged and 
worked in iron and bronze (an alloy of tin and copper) is highly significant 
(Gen. 4:22), for the chemistry for producing these substances is quite sophisti- 
cated, indicating that early man had developed "a fairly sophisticated tech- 
nology" (p. 203). 

And what about scientific perspectives on the Genesis Flood? 

It is largely by ignoring the Flood that geological uniformitarianism has so 
drastically missed the mark with respect to the age of the earth and other details. 
It has caused evolutionary thinking to miss the chemistry behind coal and oil 
formation. It has also caused evolutionary thinking to make the highly question- 
able assumption that isotopes are a time index. Wrong assumptions about rate 
processes associated with earth history in geochemical events such as petrification 
or erosion are also directly traceable to evolutionary assumptions [p. 243]. 

These statements are characteristic of Chittick's helpful insights. Compare 
his remarks on huge ripple marks (p. 217, 233), Carbon 14 dating (p. 233), the 
age of moon rocks (p. 237-38), rapid geologic changes at Mount St. Helens 
(p. 242), fossil coral reefs in Alaska (p. 193), the origin of coal and oil (p. 194), 
and of limestone formations (p. 215). 

Of great value also are the author's quotations from various sources 
concerning the tension between Darwin and Lord Kelvin (p. 228), and the 
incredible assertions of prominent evolutionary scientists such as George 

Time is in fact the hero of the plot. The time with which we have to deal is of the 
order of two billion years. What we regard as impossible on the basis of human 
experience is meaningless here. Given so much time, the 'impossible' becomes 


possible, the possible probable, and the probable virtually certain. One has only 
to wait: time itself performs the miracles [pp. 229-30; of. pp. 31, 229]. 

With regard to the overwhelmingly obvious fact that the complexities of 
the universe demand a Designer (cf. Ps 19:1-3; Rom 1:18-20), the author 
provides a shocking quotation from another evolutionist, Gideon Louw: 

The term "strategy" has become common currency among biologists of various 
persuasions. . . .[But] it is philosophically grossly misleading, as it implies that a 
process has occurred which is the very antithesis of the evolutionary concept of 
chance and necessity. Let us, therefore, agree on the strategy to expunge this 
nasty little word from our biological vocabulary [pp. 85-86]. 

Similarly, George Gaylord Simpson concluded that evolution "achieves the 
aspect of purpose without the intervention of a purposer, and has produced a 
vast plan without the action of a planner" (p. 71). 

On the vital question of the ultimate origin of the universe, astronomer 
Robert Jastrow is quoted as saying: "Theologians generally are delighted with 
the proof that the universe had a beginning, but astronomers are curiously 
upset" (p. 144). The reason is not hard to discover: an absolute beginning 
demands the creative power of God. 

Vivid illustrations that will help the layman to grasp otherwise esoteric 
concepts are found throughout the book: "The Mechanic, the Clockmaker and 
the Petstore owner" (pp. 39-42); infinite regression mirrors (p. 78); a boat on a 
lake (p. 138); and a book standing on end (p. 197). 

A professional scientist, Chittick proves to be a competent biblical 
theologian also. For example, he gives a theological reason for the sun being 
created after the earth and even after life (p. 151). He shows why neither the 
Bible nor an encyclopedia should be classed as "textbooks of science," but 
points out that this does not necessarily make their statements scientifically 
questionable (pp. 126-27). Also, there are helpful discussions of the historicity 
of Genesis 1-1 1 (pp. 127-28); the "religion" of scientism (pp. 54-55); man's 
willful rejection of the Creator (pp. 86-90); the failure and danger of theistic 
evolution (pp. 88, 94-98, 102-3); and the "slippery slope" of compromise 
positions on Genesis (pp. 110-16). 

There are many volumes written by creationists that are more technical 
and profound, but it would be difficult to find a book that is more readable, 
comprehensive, and helpful on an introductory level. I highly commend this 
book to the Christian world. 

John C. Whitcomb 
Grace Theological Seminary 

The Doctrine of Salvation, by Charles M. Home. Revised Edition. Chicago: 
Moody, 1984. Pp. 112. $4.95. Paper. 

Moody Press has reissued Charles Home's fine book on the basic issues 
of soteriology. The book was originally published in 1971 and has been 
revised by Paul Nevin of Moody Bible Institute with a new Foreword by 


John Armstrong. Home served for years as Professor of Theology at Moody 
Bible Institute and Wheaton College. He received his college training at 
Grace College and his seminary training at Grace Theological Seminary. 

The value of the book is found not so much in its content (although 
Home's discussions are very useful), but in the charts, bibliographies, and the 
scripture index. The bibliographies direct the reader to various points of view 
on each topic for further study and comparison with the conclusions offered 
by Home. As is noted in the Introduction, "We frequently learn the most 
from those who differ from us. With proper guidance such reading can pro- 
mote the cultivation of a constructive critical sense, a much needed tool in the 
learning process." 

The book begins with a survey of the biblical material on humanity's 
sinfulness, including a brief comment on the transmission of sin. Chap. 2 is 
an outstanding model of theological method. In ten pages, Home discusses 
the biblical material concerning election (see especially his comments on 
Eph 1:4-14 and Romans 8) and surveys the Arminian, Calvinistic, Barthian, 
Existential, and Salvation History schools of thought. Home's ability to 
analyze various positions succinctly is best shown in the section on the 
theories of the atonement where he surveys the strengths and weaknesses of 
Abelard, Socinius, Origen, Grotius, Aulen, and Calvin. He opts for Calvin's 
view of the substitutionary atonement, but recognizes that some of the other 
options do have strengths and some biblical support. The question concerning 
the extent of the atonement is analyzed and Home apparently leans toward a 
particular redemption. 

There are helpful chapters dealing with application and results of salva- 
tion. The chapters in which he discusses the assurance of salvation and the 
climax of salvation are extremely beneficial and quite pastoral in nature. The 
book concludes with appendices on the legitimacy of developing an ordo 
salutis and on the struggle of the believer in salvation (which includes a brief 
exegesis of Rom 7:14-25). 

This small book contains a wealth of information for the pastor or 
beginning student. It is a summary of Home's notes from his many years of 
treating this subject in the classroom. It could function as a supplementary 
college textbook, but I would imagine that the book could best be used by 
pastors attempting to instruct their congregations in the doctrine of salvation. 

David S. Dockery 
Criswell Center for Biblical Studies 

Liberation Theology, ed. Ronald Nash. Milford, MI: Mott Media, 1984. 
Pp. viii + 260. $15.95. 

Liberation Theology, by Emilio A. Nunez; trans. Paul E. Sywulka. Chicago: 
Moody, 1986. Pp. 302. $15.95. 

Liberation Theology is the most widespread theological movement of our 
time. Time and Newsweek magazines have given overviews of this movement 
which finds its largest following among Roman Catholics. There are numerous 


overviews and summaries of the movement, but until the recent critique by 
J. A. Kirk (Theology Encounters Revolution [Downers Grove: InterVarsity, 
1980]), there was a lack of serious, systematic analysis. Now, in addition, we 
have the series of essays edited by Nash and the volume by Emilio Nunez, a 
third world theologian who knows the movement from within. 

The Ust of contributors to Nash's volume reads like a Who's Who in 
theology. It includes Harold O. J. Brown, Carl F. H. Henry, Clark Pinnock, 
R. C. Walton, Duke Vree, Richard John Neuhaus, and, of course, Nash. 

The essay by Brown, who sees Liberation Theology as a hermeneutical 
issue, is worth the purchase of the book. Brown acknowledges that liberation is 
found in the biblical concepts of redemption and salvation. Jesus came to set 
captives free (Luke 4:18). The issue is whether the motif of deliverance has 
primary reference to spiritual deliverance from sin or to political and economic 
deliverance from oppression. I beheve that Brown has rightly analyzed the root 
of Liberation Theology as political (Marxist), not biblical. Liberation Theology 
has so contextualized and interpreted the gospel of redemption that its Marxist 
framework has overshadowed the true gospel. 

Michael Novak and Ronald Nash reject the concept that capitalism is 
responsible for poverty in the third world. Nash pleads for Christians to adopt 
capitalism over sociahsm or Marxism. He warns that: 1) true spiritual freedom 
is impossible without economic freedom; 2) right behavior is strengthened as 
owners treat private property as a trust; 3) sanctity of contract strengthens 
character; and 4) the work ethic teaches us that everything has a cost. 

The most interesting essay is Pinnock's autobiographical account, "Pil- 
grimage in Political Theology." He traces his own steps from alignment with 
the new left in the early 1970s to a mediating approach that rejects political 
extremes of right or left. Edward Norman examines the social and political 
understandings of Christianity in the third world. Walton evaluates J. Molt- 
mann's political theology (which in many ways is foundational to the Libera- 
tion Theology movement). Henry's chapter on the weaknesses of Marxist 
ideals is meticulous and well-informed. He sees Marxism as a poor substitute 
for Christianity and shows how the Marxist presuppositions of Liberation 
Theology drown the historical revelation of God in the historical situation of 
the oppressed. The essays by Vree and Neuhaus are critiques of G. Gutierrez, 
the movement's leading theologian. At the end of the volume is Nash's 
summary. He concludes that Liberation Theology comes up short in its 
faithfulness to biblical Christianity. 

The volume by Nunez is perhaps the most thorough evangelical critique of 
Liberation Theology to date. Nunez teaches at the Central American Theo- 
logical Seminary in Guatemala and is an active member of the theological 
commission of the World Evangelical Fellowship and the Lausanne Com- 
mittee. The author is a native of El Salvador and received his training at Dallas 
Theological Seminary. 

Nuiiez observes that for most Latin American theologians (contra North 
American or European theologians), theology is more than an academic 
classroom exercise. Rather, theology is action that brings about liberation. It is 
Nunez's conviction that, unlike the "God is dead" movement twenty years 
prior, Liberation Theology is no mere fad in the theological world. 


Nunez understands the plight of the Church in Latin America. He 
identifies with the frustration of the masses and will not tolerate a spiritual- 
need /social-need dichotomy. He points out that Liberation Theology, which 
in many ways is more sociological than theological, arose in the context of the 
church's neglect of the poor and the oppressed. The movement rightly speaks 
to the matter of injustice in a manner similar to the prophet Amos. But has the 
movement understood God's voice to the people today? Nunez does not shy 
away from this tough question. 

Nunez provides an overview of the historical and social context of Latin 
America. He then traces the development of Liberation Theology from the 
European influence on its roots through the Roman Catholic shapers to its 
current state. In so doing, he brings to the forefront the philosophical, social, 
economic, and ecclesiastical factors that have brought about a new way of 
"doing theology." 

He gives detailed observations and analyses of the primary themes in 
Liberation Theology: 1) salvation; 2) Jesus as liberator; and 3) the church as 
context for liberation. He concludes with an agenda for doing evangelical 
theology within the third world context. The book concentrates on Latin 
American theology, although Liberation Theology has African, Asian, Black, 
and Feminist faces as well. 

This book should be required reading for all missionaries, missiologists, 
and theologians. No evangelical college or seminary student dares neglect the 
importance of this book. 

Together both books provide penetrating analysis of the most influential 
theology of our day. I am quite sure that the work by Nunez will be a standard 
resource for years to come. The North American Christian community, it is 
hoped, will hear, understand, and act in a way to bring the true message of the 
gospel with its spiritual and social implications to a dying and lost world. 

David S. Dockery 
Criswell College 

The Sources of Swiss Anabaptism, edited by Leland Harder. Scottsdale, PA: 
Herald, 1985. Pp. 816. $69.00. 

This work, a documentary history, is not only a mine of valuable 
information but is also an excellent model for books of this genre. Utilizing 
letters of Conrad Grebel (ca. 1498-1526) as a basis for the story. Herder 
skillfully conducts the reader on a tour through important materials — many 
unavailable in English translation elsewhere — pertaining to the origin and 
development of the Anabaptist spirit and movement in and around Zurich. 
Though the once popular thesis that the Anabaptist movement finds its origin 
in the events in Zurich has been challenged in recent studies, the importance of 
Swiss Anabaptism and early promoters such as Grebel, Felix Mantz, Jorg 
Blaurock and associates remains undiminished. 

The account of Grebel and Swiss Anabaptism is presented by Herder as a 
drama in five acts plus prologue and epilogue. A cast of characters numbering 
one hundred and six is named at the outset. More than one hundred and fifty 


pages are given at the end of the story to profiles of these individuals, 
presenting important information about each person and his or her place in the 
history of Anabaptism. These character sketches, which include references to 
where individuals are mentioned in the documents of the book, are a valuable 
resource not only in the reading of this work but also as a biographical 
dictionary to be used alongside other studies of Anabaptism. 

The first three acts are concerned with the young Grebel as a student, 
prodigal, and seeker. One becomes acquainted with the melancholy and 
troubled humanist as he struggles through his university experiences. Some of 
these experiences were beneficial. Many of his activities caused him diflRculty 
with his family as well as bringing upon him emotional upset and physical 
illness. One travels the bumpy roads of Grebel's youth amazed that he would 
become a catalyst of a vital Christian movement and then be dead of the plague 
within a ten year span of time. At times the reading of the letters written during 
this period becomes tedious but these materials give needed insight into the 
man Grebel and his search for truth and meaning. 

After having discussed Grebel's life from 1517 into 1522, Herder focuses 
attention on Grebel as the advocate of reform. Grebel's support of ZwingH in 
the work of reformation in Zurich is presented not only in Grebel's words but 
also in those of other chroniclers of the period. Here the artistry of Herder is 
demonstrated as he brings together in an engaging arrangement a variety of 
testimonies regarding reform in Zurich. The documents present the picture of a 
reform that was not to see an extended period of unity. Certain students and 
followers of Zwingli broke from him over the matter of the completeness of the 
reform and its timetable. Grebel advances from the position of advocate to 
ringleader of the party calling for radical and rapid reform. Such a call led the 
new party into conflict not only with Roman Catholics but also with ZwingU 
and his reform movement. Grebel and his associates were not willing to wait 
patiently with Zwingli for the Zurich council to enact reform measures 
gradually in order that the least resistance might be raised. At this time, also, 
the question of the propriety of infant baptism became an issue and a source of 
division in Zurich. Zwingli championed the pedobaptist cause with the backing 
of the council. Extensive excerpts from material by Zwingli and decrees by the 
Zurich leaders are presented as well as writings of those opposed to having 
children baptized. The antagonism produced by disputations over this matter 
gave birth to much invective. The story takes on the nature of tragedy. 

As early as 1523, Grebel had written, out of frustration with ZwingU's 
hesitancy in completing the reform, "Whoever thinks, believes or declares that 
Zwingli acts according to the duty of a shepherd thinks, believes, and declares 
wickedly" (p. 276). Following the historically significant meeting of January 
21, 1525, in which Grebel, Mantz, Blaurock and others were rebaptized 
(bringing upon themselves the wrath of the Zurich leaders), Grebel wrote of the 
"bloody faction of Zwingli" (p. 379), of Zwingh and others withholding "the 
truth in falsehood" (p. 380), and of Zwingli as one "who is himself going into 
captivity according to the Apocalypse" (p. 357). Not to be outdone, Zwingh 
refers to the "rebels" who disrupt Christian unity and describes them as ones 
who "daily bring forth more silly arguments than Africa produces strange 
beasts," who "sit in judgment and condemn everybody" and "when they have 


finished . . . pour such bitterness upon one another that one could bathe in the 
abundance of gall" (p. 3 1 7). 

It is a blot on the record of the Reformation that capital punishment was 
exercised against some who dissented from the decrees of the Zurich council 
concerning baptism. It is with sadness that one reads the accounts of suffering 
and the defenses for such persecution, including the burning and drowning of 
Anabaptists. An example is the following account: 

On Saturday, January 5, 1527, the Large and Small Councils of Zurich con- 
demned to death Feliz Mantz, the son of Hans Mantz, the canon. And so he was 
drowned in the afternoon of the same day, about three o'clock, and [they] beat his 
comrade, Jorg Blaurock, out of the city with rods on the very same day at about 
four. For Mantz had baptized persons in violation of the prohibition on penalty 
of death by drowning, and Blaurock had also returned to Milords' jurisdiction 
against their strict prohibition" [pp. 474-75]. 

Grebel escaped imprisonment only to die, apparently of the plague, soon 
thereafter. However, the movement of which he had been a ringleader expanded 
numerically and geographically. Zwingli referred to the deceased Grebel as the 
Anabaptists' "head in hell" (p. 487). Even in death, Grebel continued to be an 
object of vilification. Herder continues to document events subsequent to the 
death of Grebel, giving to the reader glimpses of further disputes, martyrdoms, 
and critiques of the Anabaptists. 

The text of the drama unfolded by Herder makes up the major portion of 
the book but mention must be made of the almost two hundred pages of 
footnotes which explain certain translations, impart historical background 
information, refer the reader to other documents where similar or comple- 
mentary material is presented, and which interact with textual problems and 
the interpretations of other historians. The introductions to the various docu- 
ments are helpful, as is the bibliography. Scripture and general indexes are 

This work is the fourth volume of the Classics of the Radical Reformation 
and enhances the value of an already excellent series. It is regrettable that the 
anticipated limited circulation of this book has resulted in a high price affixed 
by the publisher. This series is more of a ministry than a profit-maker and 
Herald Press is to be congratulated on its commitment to making such 
valuable material available to the English-speaking church, especially to those 
independent bodies which owe so much to the Anabaptist movement. 

Ronald T. Clutter 
Grace Theological Seminary 

Lefevre, Pioneer of Ecclesiastical Renewal in France, by Phillip Edgcumbe 
Hughes. Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1984. Pp. xiv + 210. $15.95. Paper. 

As he did in The Theology of the English Reformers (1965) and in his 
editing of The Company of Pastors of Geneva in the Time of Calvin (1966), 
Philip Edgcumbe Hughes once again has demonstrated impressive versatility 
as a scholar. Hughes, a professor at Westminster Theological Seminary and 
known chiefly for his excellent commentaries on various books of the NT, is 


also a profound researcher and interpreter of Reformation themes. Lefevre, 
Pioneer of Ecclesiastical Renewal in France is the first full scale intellectual 
biography of this sixteenth century Roman Catholic humanist to appear in the 
English language, a feat which in itself puts students of the Reformation in 
debt to the author. 

According to Hughes, Lefevre was one of the pivotal figures of the 
sixteenth century whose principal significance is that he "blazed the trail from 
Renaissance to Reformation" (p. ix). After lamenting the way in which 
scholars have neglected Lefevre and allowed him to be overshadowed by 
Erasmus, Hughes argues that his subject was intellectually superior to Erasmus 
and actually a seminal forerunner of Luther and the Protestant reformers. In 
fact, Lefevre appears in this book as a proto-Protestant who embraced the 
distinctives of sola scrip tura, sola gratia, and sola fide. By means of extensive 
quotations from Lefevre (translated into English for the first time) Hughes 
portrays Lefevre as one who contended for the very doctrines which comprised 
the heart of Luther's soteriology. In other words, Lefevre was not a mere critic 
of ecclesiastical corruption, clerical ignorance, and scholastic sophistry, but a 
theological reformer committed to the restoration of the NT teaching about 

Although Hughes has documented his work massively from primary 
sources, his interpretation of this French humanist/ reformer is not entirely 
convincing, even though the author has shown numerous parallels and similari- 
ties between Lefevre and Luther. On the matter of justification the real 
question is not whether Lefevre believed in sola fide j 'faith alone', but how he 
understood the nature of justification. That is, did he see it as a forensic, 
declaratory act of God by which a sinner is reckoned righteous on the basis of 
Christ's merits alone, or did he regard it as an ongoing process not to be 
distinguished from sanctification? St. Augustine taught the latter view, and it is 
possible, perhaps even likely, that Lefevre believed that way too. The one place 
in this book where the author provides important evidence that the French 
reformer might not have been an Augustinian on this point pertains to the 
matter of perseverance in the faith. Hughes has shown that Lefevre believed 
one could enjoy the assurance of salvation, which would not be possible within 
the traditional Augustinian conception of justification. Hughes could be right 
about Lefevre's position, but it would be well to cite more evidence to buttress 
his conclusion. As the matter stands this reader remains willing to be 

The publisher's description of this work promotes it as a book for the 
general reader, but this is not so. It is the work of a fine scholar who has written 
for other scholars, and a person uninitiated into the intricacies of Reformation 
literature would find this book bewildering. For informed readers it is, 
however, a work of fresh investigation which should stimulate considerable 
interest in the subject. The careful documentation and well selected bibliog- 
raphy make it a valuable tool for those who seek to study further the life of 
Lefevre and the relationship of Roman Catholic humanism to the Protestant 
Reformation. This book belongs in every personal or institutional library with 
strong Reformation holdings. 

James Edward McGoldrick 
Cedarville College 


The Apostolic Church, By Everett F. Harrison. Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 
1985. Pp.251, n.p. Paper. 

Everett Harrison, Emeritus Professor of NT at Fuller Theological Semi- 
nary and the author of Introduction to the New Testament, has given us a 
clear and helpful treatment of the apostolic Church. It is a text that deals 
com.prehensively, though not exhaustively, with the major internal and external 
developments in the early years of the life of the Christian Church. As sources, 
Harrison includes both the book of Acts and the Epistles of the NT. But the 
author is sensitive to contemporary religious and secular literature as well. 

Harrison begins with a brief description of the essential political and reli- 
gious characteristics of the culture in which the early Church began. Chap. 1 
includes a helpful survey from the era of Alexander the Great to the Bar 
Cochba revolt. Topics such as hellenization, Roman government, the rule of 
the Herods, Zealot terrorism, and the First Jewish War receive special atten- 
tion. Here the reader is treated to several interesting caveats, such as, "Although 
it is customary to date the outbreak of the Jewish War against Rome at a.d. 66, 
a virtual state of war existed for years prior to that time" (p. 8). Under the 
heading "the Religious Backgound," the author focuses on Greek religion, the 
Roman Pantheon, the Hermetic writings, and the rise of Caesar worship. 

Beginning in chap. 2, Harrison proceeds to survey the book of Acts, the 
main source of information on the rise and progress of the early Church. The 
focus is upon the history of critical scholarship concerning the validity and 
usefulness of Acts as a historical document. Harrison handles capably the 
special problems of the speeches in Acts and the purpose of Luke's "history" of 
the Church. 

Moving beyond these preliminary matters, Harrison sketches the history 
of the apostolic Church from its conception at Pentecost to the era of its 
persecution and beyond. Chap. 3 carefully treats the relationship of Church 
and State: the Christian, writes Harrison, is to obey but not to absolutize the 
state (p. 83). I found Harrison's treatment of two issues to be particularly 
helpful in this chapter: the contention of S. G. F. Brandon {Jesus and the 
Zealots) that Jesus was a zealot or at least a zealot sympathizer; and the 
Church's attitude toward slavery. The chapter concludes with an interesting 
remark: "It should be obvious that flight from the world in the interest of 
removing oneself from the temptations of society is largely fruitless, since the 
world is not the source of temptation but only an accessory to it" (p. 99). As 
subsequent Church history has shown, one can be as sorely tempted in a 
monastery as in the midst of a large metropolis. 

Chap. 4 discusses the internal development of the Church, including its 
organization, theology, creeds, worship, ministry, teaching, and discipline. 
Finally, in chap. 5 Harrison treats us to brief sketches of the individual 
churches (Jerusalem, Antioch, Philippi, Thessalonica, Corinth, Ephesus, 
Colosse, Rome), each located in the nerve centers of civilization. 

When compared with other books dealing with apostolic history, this 
volume ranks high and should be helpful to students of Acts and (especially) 
the Pauline Epistles. Scholars who believe in the minute analysis of every single 
problem may find Harrison's work inadequate. For those teachers who have 
required Bruce 's New Testament History in courses on early Christian history, 


this book will prove to be too elementary. Nevertheless, Harrison has pro- 
duced a book that is interesting and valuable in its contribution to the on- 
going discussion of the apostolic Church. 

David Alan Black 
Grace Graduate School 

The Undivided Self: Bringing Your Whole Life in Line with God's Will, by 
Earl D. Wilson. Downers Grove: InterVarsity, 1983. Pp. 191. $5.95. Paper. 

The purpose of this book is to promote a balanced view of the Christian 
life. Wilson embraces the hope that a believer can confront realistically in an 
integrated, holistic fashion the tensions caused by internal conflicts. 

The primary model that is employed in this quest for balance and unity 
is a triangular design. At the corners of the model are the traditional descrip- 
tions of education: "thinking," "feeling," "doing." Inside the middle of this 
triangle, however, is an added innovative element: "choosing." Since this new 
element maintains ties with each of the three previous descriptions, three 
"inner triangles" are constructed, as well. Wilson chose these four components 
"because we easily recognize them in our daily experience" (p. 19). 

The model is designed to encourage balance. Wilson painstakingly ex- 
plains how each of the four factors in his model equally affects the other 
three components. However, at times it is difficult to comprehend how this 
"balance" typifies or represents reality. This critique of Wilson's model is 
analyzed below. 

First, consider Wilson's implementation of his four-part model in two 
specific "inner" conflicts: "Another step in achieving balance is distinguishing 
between real and imagined problems. . . . Imagined problems rray be caused 
by exaggerating (catastrophizing) or minimizing the probable consequences 
of events" (p. 37). The author further explains, "Catastrophizing says, 'It's 
horrible!' Minimizing says, 'It will go away.' Reality says, 'This is the way it 
is' "(p. 38). 

Wilson utilizes his model to address these two distorted perceptions. 
However, instead of illustrating how the four factors of thinking, feeling, 
doing and choosing are to be equally applied (as his model would indicate), 
Wilson tends to emphasize thinking as the most prominent feature. He con- 
cludes by noting that the three views of life (noted in the previous quotation) 
are comparable to three birds — the magpie is like the catastrophizer ("making 
a lot of noise everytime a little disturbance occurs"); the ostrich parallels the 
life of the minimizer ("he buries his head and fails to see things as they are"); 
the most appropriate perspective of reality is typified by the owl ("the symbol 
of thought and reality testing," pp. 38-39). Thus, the emphasis is clearly on 
reason and thought, in contrast to feeling, doing and choosing. 

A similar approach is taken in chapter eight, where the subject of con- 
trolling emotions surfaces. Without exception, "thinking" is portrayed as the 
dominant attribute of Wilson's four-part model. The following steps are 
advised by the author: (1) ''Awareness is the first key to bringing any emotion 
under control" (p. 104); (2) ''Review how you might have responded dif- 
ferently" (p. 106); (3) "We need to understand the payoff" which being angry 
has" (p. 109); and (4) "Surprisingly, the key to forgiving and being free is not 


to forget the offense. You may have been ill-used. You need to acknowledge 
that" (p. 110). The four phrases that I have highlighted above indicate, once 
again, the dominant role that the cognitive domain plays in Wilson's book. 

Now, having made the assessment that "thinking" occupies the most 
prominent place in Wilson's model (even though his diagram would indicate 
an equal balance), it should be noted that the author's perspective can, in- 
deed, be verified as a biblical position. Several passages point believers to the 
prominent imperatives of cognitive responsibility. And Wilson rightly draws 
our attention to these verses: (1) 2 Cor 10:4-5, ". . . we take captive every 
thought to make it obedient to Christ" (p. 82); (2) Phil 4:8, "Finally, brothers, 
whatever is true, whatever is noble . . . think on these things" (p. 85); and 
(3) 1 Tim 4:16, "Watch your life and doctrine closely" (p. 140). 

The overriding theme of this reviewer's critique can be synthesized this 
way: if each of the four parts of Wilson's model was individually measured 
against the other three factors, would there be a "balance" or an "imbalance?" 
This reviewer is convinced — from Wilson's own arguments, from Scripture, 
and from personal life-experiences — that the believer's cognitive responsi- 
bilities outweigh his affective and behavioral duties. This is not to say that 
one's affective and behavioral responsibilities are unimportant or even that 
they are not as important as the cognitive issues. What this statement does say 
is that the Word always commences discussion of Christian responsibility with 
the cognitive domain (either directly or indirectly). There is an "imbalance" 
in the triangular model, because a Bible verse will never be discovered which 
subordinates the believer's thoughts to his feelings or behaviors. 

Once the reader is aware of this perspective, Wilson's text proves to be a 
helpful resource for resolving inner, human conflicts. Specifically, The Un- 
divided Self provides meaningful illustrations of man's complexity and of 
the inter-related qualities of his being. Of particular benefit is Wilson's 
tenth chapter, "Self-Esteem: God Don't Make No Junk." Four personality- 
types which promote low self-esteem are described as the most common 
approaches: (1) "Prebake Crumbmakers" (those who say, "Don't expect 
much of me"); (2) "Divide and Crumble" (individuals who give credit to 
everyone, never acknowledging God's work through them); (3) "Susie Sub- 
stitute" (people who exclaim, "Yeah, but you should hear my sister play!"); 
and (4) "Christian Grumblers" — the most convicting personality of them all! — 
(those who confess, "It wasn't really me. It was the Lord"). 

Throughout the book, mention is made of the Apostle Paul's personal 
struggles, reflected in Romans 7. Wilson purposefully confronts the human 
tensions reflected there, avoiding the all-too-common interpretive extremes 
(i.e., on the one hand, accepting and promoting a schizophrenic approach to 
life; on the other hand, considering the eradication of the sin nature to be 
normative for the believer). 

In summary. The Undivided iSe//" represents a refreshing, holistic view of 
man. In contrast to some so-called holistic texts (which ironically end up 
dissecting and analyzing only the separate components of man), this book 
identifies both the "parts" and the "sum of the parts" pertaining to human 

Ron Habermas 
Liberty University 


ADAIR, JOHN. Founding Fathers. Reprint, Grand Rapids: Baker, 1986. 
Pp. 302. $10.95. Paper. 

ADAMS, JAY E. Lectures on Counseling. Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1977. 
Pp. 276. $9.95. Paper. 

ADAMS, JAY E. Preaching with Purpose. Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1982. 
Pp. 162. $7.95. Paper. 

ADAMS, JAY E. Solving Marriage Problems. Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 
1983. Pp. 112. $6.95. Paper. 

ALDRICH, JOSEPH C. Love For All Your Worth. Portland: Multnomah, 
1985. Pp. 140. $5.95. Paper. 

ALLEN, RONALD B. Imagination. Portland: Multnomah, 1985. Pp. 24. 
$1.50. Booklet. 

ALLEN, RONALD B. Lord of Song: The Messiah Revealed In The Psalms. 
Portland: Multnomah, 1985. Pp. 177. $8.95. Paper. 

ALLEN, RONALD and BEVERLY ALLEN. Liberated Traditionalism. A 
Critical Concern Book. Portland: MuUnomah, 1985. Pp. 217. $11.95. 

Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1986. Pp. 168. $11.95. Paper. 

ARCHER, GLEASON L. A Survey of Old Testament Introduction. Revised 
edition, Chicago: Moody, 1985. Pp. 537. n.p. Paper. 

ARMBRUSTER, WALLY. Let Me Out! I'm a Prisoner in a Stained Glass 
Jail. Portland: MuUnomah, 1985. Pp. 126. $6.95. Paper. 


A Readers Hebrew- English Lexicon of the Old Testament. Vol. I and II in 
one, Genesis-II Kings. Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1986. Pp. 230. n.p. 


A Readers Hebrew- English Lexicon of the Old Testament. Vol. Ill, 
Isaiah-Malachi. Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1986. Pp. 220. $14.95. 

ATKINSON, DAVID. Peace in our Timel Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1986. 
Pp. 219. $4.95. Paper. 

BABCOX, NEIL. A Search for Charismatic Reality. Portland: Multnomah, 
1985. Pp. 91. $5.95. Paper. 

BAKER, DONALD. Philippians: Jesus our Joy. Lifebuilder Bible Study 
Series. Downers Grove: InterVarsity, 1985. Pp. 58. $2.95. Paper. 


BALDWIN, STANLEY C. Bruised But Not Broken. Portland: Multnomah, 
1985. Pp. 209. $6.95. Paper. 

BANGS, CARL. Arminius: A Study in the Dutch Reformation. Grand 
Rapids: Zondervan, 1985. Pp. 388. $10.95. Paper. 

BARCLAY, OLIVER R. The Intellect and Beyond. Grand Rapids: Zonder- 
van, 1985. Pp. 157. $6.95. Paper. 

BARLOW, DANIEL LENOX. Educational Psychology. Chicago: Moody, 
1985. Pp. 530. n.p. 

BARNETT, C. K. Church, Ministry and Sacraments in the New Testament. 
Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1985. Pp. 109. n.p. Paper. 

BARTH, KARL. Witness to the Word. Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1986. 
Pp. 163. $9.95. Paper. 

BASINGER, DAVID and RANDALL BASINGER. Predestination and Free 
Will. Downers Grove: InterVarsity, 1986. Pp. 180. $6.95. Paper. 

BEITZEL, BARRY J. The Moody Atlas of Bible Lands. Chicago: Moody, 
1985. Pp. 234. $29.95. 

BENDER, HAROLD S. Biblical Revelation and Inspiration. Scottsdale, PA: 
Herald, 1959. Pp. 31. $1.45. Booklet. 

BENNER, DAVID G., ed. Baker Encyclopedia of Psychology. Grand Rapids: 
Baker, 1985. Pp. 1123. $34.95. 

BERGLUND, ROBERT. A Philosophy of Church Music. Chicago: Moody, 
1985. Pp. 111. n.p. 

BERKHOF, HENDRIKUS. Introduction to the Study of Dogmatics. Grand 
Rapids: Eerdmans, 1985. Pp. 114. $7.95. Paper. 

BERNBAUM, JOHN A., ed. Economic Justice and the State. Grand Rapids: 
Baker, 1986. Pp. 80. $4.95. Paper. 

BERRY, HAROLD J. Treasures from the Original. Chicago: Moody, 1985. 
Pp. 126. n.p. Paper. 

BLIZZARD, ROY B. Let Judah Go Up First. Austin, TX: Center for Judaic- 
Christian Studies, 1984. Pp. 34. n.p. Booklet. 

BLUMENTHAL, DAVID R. The Place of Faith and Grace in Judaism. 
Austin, TX: Center for Judaic-Christian Studies, 1985. Pp. 29. n.p. 

BOICE, JAMES MONTGOMERY. Christ's Call to Discipleship. Chicago: 
Moody. 1986. Pp. 170. n.p. Paper. 

BOICE, JAMES MONTGOMERY. Genesis: An Expositional Commentary. 
Vol. 2, Gen. 12:1-36:43. Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1985. Pp. 364. $16.95. 

BOICE, JAMES MONTGOMERY. The Gospel of John. Expositional Com- 
mentary, Five Volumes in One. Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1985. 
Pp. 1487. n.p. 


BORLAND, JAMES A. A General Introduction to the New Testament. 
Lynchburgh, VA: University Book House, 1986. Pp. 216. $14.95. Paper. 

BRIEN, ROBERT C. You Are What You Think. Schaumburg, IL: Regular 
Baptist Press, 1986. Pp. 181. $5.95. Paper. 

BROMILEY, GEOFFREY W., gen. ed. The International Standard Bible 
Encyclopedia, vol. 3. Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1986. Pp. 1060. $37.50. 

BROWN, COLIN. That You May Believe. Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1985. 
Pp. 232. $7.95. Paper. 

BROWN, L. DUANE. Confronting Today's World. Schaumburg, IL: Regular 
Baptist Press, 1986. Pp. 205. $6.95. Paper. 

BRUCE, F. F. Jesus Lord and Savior. Downers Grove: InterVarsity, 1986. 
Pp. 115. $5.95. Paper. 

BRUCE, F. F. Paul & His Converts. Downers Grove: InterVarsity, 1985. 
Pp. 228. $7.95. Paper. 

BRUCE, F. F., ed. The International Bible Commentary. Grand Rapids: 
Zondervan, 1986. Pp. 1629. $24.95. 

Nashville: Thomas Nelson, 1985. Pp. 216. $7.95. Paper. 

BUCHANAN, DUNCAN. The Counseling of Jesus. Downers Grove: Inter- 
Varsity, 1985. Pp. 174. $6.95. Paper. 

BUDD, PHILIP J. Word Biblical Commentary on Numbers. Waco, TX: 
Word, 1986. Pp. 409. n.p. 

BULLOCK, C. HASSELL. An Introduction to the Old Testament Prophetic 
Books. Chicago: Moody, 1986. Pp. 391. n.p. 

BULTEMA, DANIEL C. Maranatha! A Study in Unfulfilled Prophecy. 
Grand Rapids: Kregel, 1985. Pp. 364. $12.95. Paper. 

BURGESS, EDWARD EARL. Christ, Crown of the Torah. Grand Rapids: 
Zondervan, 1986. Pp. 226. $7.95. Paper. 

CAMERON, NIGEL M. de S. and SINCLAIR B. FERGUSON, eds. Pulpit & 
People: Essays in Honor of William Still on His 75th Birthday. Edin- 
burgh: Rutherford House, 1986. Pp. 148. $13.00. Paper. 

CAMPOLO, ANTHONY. Partly Right. Waco, TX: Word, 1985. Pp. 222. 

CARSON, D. A. Greek Accents: A Student's Manual. Grand Rapids: Baker, 
1985 Pp. 167. $8.95. Paper. 

CLARK, GORDON H. Clark Speaks from the Grave. Jefferson, MD: The 
Trinity Foundation, 1986. Pp. 83. $3.95. Paper. 

CLARK, GORDON H. Ephesians. Jefferson, MD: The Trinity Foundation, 
1985. Pp. 230. $8.95. Paper. 


CLOUSE, BONNIDELL. Moral Development: Perspectives in Psychology 
and Christian Belief. Grand Rapids: Baker, 1985. Pp. 369. $13.95. Paper. 

COGGINS, RICHARD J. and PAUL S. RE^EMI. Esther. Obadiah, Nahum: 
Israel Among the Nations. Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1985. Pp. 140. 


COLEMAN, ROBERT E., ed. Evangelism on the Cutting Edge. Old Tappan, 
NJ: Fleming H. Revell, 1986. Pp. 156. $8.95. 

CONYERS, A. J. How to Read the Bible. Downers Grove: InterVarsity, 1986. 
Pp. 197. $6.95. Paper. 

CRISWELL, W. A. Great Doctrines of the Bible. Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 
1985. Pp. 154. $9.95. 

CURTIS, ADRIAN. Ugarit Ras Shamra. Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1985. 
Pp. 125. n.p. Paper. 

DAVIS, JOHN JEFFERSON. Evangelical Ethics. Phillipsburg, NJ: Presby- 
terian and Reformed, 1985. Pp. 299. $13.95. 

DENNISON, WILLIAM D. Paul's Two- Age Construction and Apologetics. 
Lanham, MD: University Press of America, 1985. Pp. 131. $8.75. Paper. 

DeVRIES, SIMON J. Word Biblical Commentary on I Kings. Waco, TX: 
Word, 1986. Pp. 286. n.p. 

DRUMMOND, LEWIS A. and PAUL R. BAXTER. How to Respond to a 
Skeptic. Chicago: Moody, 1986. Pp. 135. n.p. Paper. 

DUMBRELL, W. J. Covenant and Creation: A Theology of Old Testament 
Covenants. Nashville: Thomas Nelson, 1986. Pp. 217. $8.95. Paper. 

ELMORE, VERNON O. Layman's Library of Christian Doctrine. Nashville: 
Broadman, 1986. Pp. 168. n.p. 

ERWIN, GAYLE D. The Jesus Style. Waco, TX: Word, 1983. Pp. 193. $9.95. 

EVANS, MIKE. The Return. Nashville: Thomas Nelson, 1986. Pp. 236. 

EVANS, W. GLYN. Beloved Adversary. Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1985. 
Pp. 161. n.p. Paper. 

FARNSWORTH, KIRK E. Whole- Hearted Integration: Harmonizing Psy- 
chology and Christianity Through Words and Deed. Grand Rapids: 
Baker, 1985. Pp. 160. $6.95. Paper. 

FINGER, THOMAS N. Christian Theology: An Eschatological Approach. 
Vol. I. Nashville: Thomas Nelson, 1985. Pp. 367. $18.95. 

FIRET, JACOB. Dynamics in Pastoring. Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1986. 
Pp. 318. $24.95. 

FISK, SAMUEL. Calvinistic Paths Retraced. Murfreesboro, TN: Biblical 
Evangelism, 1985. Pp. 240. n.p. Paper. 


FORBES, CHERYL. Imagination: Embracing a Theology of Wonder. A 
Critical Concern Book. Portland: Multnomah, 1986. Pp. 199. n.p. 

FORD, LEIGHTON. Sandy. Downers Grove: InterVarsity, 1985. Pp. 179. 

FORD, W. HERSCHEL. Sermons You Can Preach On John. Reprint, Grand 
Rapids: Zondervan, 1985. Pp. 430. $12.95. Paper. 

FORD, W. HERSCHEL. Sermons You Can Preach on Matthew. Reprint, 
Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1985. Pp. 242. $8.95. Paper. 

FRANKEN, DARRELL. Healing Through Stress Management. Holland, 
ML Wellness Publications, 1985. Pp. 392. $14.95. Paper. 

FUCHS, DANIEL. Israel's Holy Days In Type and Prophecy. Neptune, NJ: 
Loizeaux, 1985. Pp. 95. $3.50. 

GAEBELEIN, ARNO C. Gaebelein's Concise Commentary on the Whole 
Bible. Neptune, NJ: Loizeaux Brothers, 1985. Pp. 1237. $29.95. 

GAEBELEIN, FRANK E., gen. ed. The Expositor's Bible Commentary. 
Vol. 7, Daniel and the Minor Prophets. Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1985. 
Pp. 725. $24.95. 

GAEDE, S. D. Belonging: Our Need for Community in the Church Family. 
Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1985. Pp. 277. $9.95. Paper. 

GAEDE, S. D. Where Gods May Dwell. Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1985. 
Pp. 186. $7.95. Paper. 

GILL, JERRY H. Faith in Dialogue: A Christian Apologetic. Waco, TX: 
Word, 1985. Pp. 159. n.p. 

GODFREY, ROBERT W. and JESSE L. BOYD, III, eds. Through Christ's 
Word: A Festschrift for Dr. Philip E. Hughes. Presbyterian and 
Reformed, 1985. Pp. 252. n.p. Paper. 

GRAY, JOHN. The New Century Bible Commentary: Joshua, Judges, and 
Ruth. Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1986. Pp. 427. $12.95. Paper. 

GREEN, HAROLD. Scribes, Scrolls and Scripture. Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 
1985. Pp. 102. $6.95. Paper. 

GREUENLER, ROYCE GORDON. The Trinity in the Gospel of John. 
Grand Rapids: Baker, 1986. Pp. 159. $9.95. Paper. 

GRIFFITHS, BRIAN. The Creation of Wealth: A Christian's Case for 
Capitalism. Downers Grove: InterVarsity, 1984. Pp. 160. $5.95. Paper. 

GRIFFITHS, MICHAEL. The Example of Jesus. Downers Grove: Inter- 
Varsity, 1985. Pp. 204. $6.95. Paper. 

GROOTHUIS, DOUGLAS R. Unmasking the New Age. Downers Grove: 
InterVarsity, 1986. Pp. 192. $6.95. Paper. 

GUTHRIE, DONALD. Exploring God's Word. Grand Rapids: Eerdman's, 
1984. Pp. 222. $6.95. Paper. 


HAGNER, DONALD. The Jewish Reclamation of Jesus. Grand Rapids: 
Zondervan, 1984. Pp. 341. $9.95. Paper. 

HALE, THOMAS. Don't Let the Goats Eat the Loquat Trees. Grand Rapids: 
Zondervan, 1986. Pp. 257. $9.95. Paper. 

HARDER, LELAND, ed. The Sources of Swiss Anabaptism. Scottsdale, PA: 
Herald, 1985. Pp. 815. $69.00. 

eds. Interpretation and History: Essays in Honor of Allan A. MacRae. 
Singapore: Christian Life, 1986. Pp. 300. $10.95. 

HENDLEY, JESSE M. The Fifth Horseman of the Apocalypse. Grand Rapids: 
Kregel, 1985. Pp. 238. $9.95. Paper. 

HETH, WILLIAM A. and GORDON J. WENHAM. Jesus and Divorce. 
Nashville: Thomas Nelson, 1984. Pp. 130. $2.87. Paper. 

HIEBERT, PAUL G. Anthropological Insights for Missionaries. Grand 
Rapids: Baker, 1985. Pp. 315. $13.95. Paper. 

HOCKING, DAVID L. Who Am I? And What Difference Does It Make? 
Portland: Multnomah, 1985. Pp. 165. $7.95. Paper. 

HOOVER, JAMES. Mark: Follow Me. Life Builder Bible Study Series. 
Downers Grove: InterVarsity, 1985. Pp. 96. $2.95. Paper. 

HOSTETLER, MICHAEL J. Introducing the Sermon. Grand Rapids: 
Zondervan, 1986. Pp. 89. $5.95. Paper. 

HUBBARD, DAVID ALLAN. The Second Coming. Downers Grove: Inter- 
Varsity, 1985. Pp. 121. $2.95. Paper. 

HUGGETT, JOYCE. Creative Conflict. Downers Grove: InterVarsity, 1984. 
Pp. 192. $5.95. Paper. 

HUGHES, ROBERT B. First Corinthians. Everyman's Bible Commentary 
Series. Chicago: Moody, 1985. Pp. 157. Paper. 

HUMMEL, CHARLES E. The Galileo Connection. Downers Grove: Inter- 
Varsity, 1986. Pp. 293. Paper. 

HUMMEL, CHARLES and ANNE HUMMEL. Genesis: God's Creative 
Call. Lifebuilder Bible Study Series. Downers Grove: InterVarsity, 1985. 
Pp. 112. $3.50. Paper. 

HUNTER, W. BINGHAM. The God Who Hears. Downers Grove: Inter- 
Varsity, 1986. Pp. 224. $6.95. Paper. 

HUTCHCRAFT, RONALD. Peaceful Living In A Stressful World. Nashville: 
Thomas Nelson, 1985. Pp. 209. n.p. 

INCH, MORRIS A. Making the Good News Relevant. Nashville: Thomas 
Nelson, 1986. Pp. 111. $8.95. Paper. 


JEWETT, PAUL K. Election & Predestination. Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 
1986. Pp. 147. $8.95. Paper. 

JOHNSON, ALAN F. Romans: The Freedom Letter. Vol. 2, Everyman's 
Bible Commentary Series. Revised edition, Chicago: Moody, 1985. 
Pp. 141. Paper. 

JONES, D. GARETH. Brave New People: Ethical Issues at the Commence- 
ment of Life. Revised edition, Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1985. Pp. 224. 
$8.95. Paper. 

JONES, R. TUDUR. The Great Reformation. Downers Grove: InterVarsity, 

1985. Pp. 288. $9.95. Paper. 

JONES STANTON L., ed. Psychology and the Christian Faith. Baker, 1986. 
Pp. 267. $11.95. Paper. 

KAISER, WALTER C, Jr. The Uses of the Old Testament in the New. 
Chicago: Moody, 1985. Pp. 270. n.p. 

KENDALL, R. T. Stand Up And Be Counted. Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 

1984. Pp. 127. $5.95. Paper. 

KENYON, KATHLEEN M. Archaeology in the Holy Land. Nashville: 
Thomas Nelson, 1985. Pp. 360. $11.95. Paper. 

KIDNER, DEREK. The Wisdom of Proverbs, Job & Ecclesiastes. Downers 
Grove: InterVarsity, 1985. Pp. 175. $5.95. Paper. 

KIRK, JERRY R. The Mind Polluters. Nashville: Thomas Nelson, 1985. 
Pp. 221. $6.95. Paper. 

KISTEMAKER, SIMON J. James and I-III John. Grand Rapids: Baker, 

1986. Pp. 425. $18.95. 

Geoffrey W. Bromiley. The Theological Dictionary of the New Testament. 
Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1985. Pp. 1356. $44.95. 

KOHLENBERGER, JOHN R. The NIV Interlinear Hebrew /English Old 
Testament. Vol. 4. Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1985. Pp. 591. $24.95. 

KOPP, RUTH. When Someone You Love Is Dying. Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 
1980. Pp. 238. $8.95. Paper. 

KREEFT, PETER. One Catholic to Another. Downers Grove: InterVarsity, 

1985. Pp. 27. n.p. Booklet. 

KUHATSCHECK, JACK. Galatians: Why God Accepts Us. Lifebuilder Bible 
Study Series. Downers Grove: InterVarsity, 1986. Pp. 64. $2.95. Paper. 

KUHNE, GARY W. The Change Factor. Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1984. 
Pp. 140. n.p. Paper. 


LANE, WILLIAM L. Call to Commitment: Responding to the Message of 
Hebrews. Nashville: Thomas Nelson, 1985. Pp. 184. $7.95. Paper. 

LAVENDER, LUCILLE. They Cry Too\ Revised edition, Grand Rapids: 
Zondervan, 1986. Pp. 202. $6.95. Paper. 

LAW, PETER W. A Portrait of My Father. Portland: Multnomah, 1985. 
Pp. 196. n.p. Paper. 

LE PEAU, ANDREW and PHYLLIS J. LE PEAU. Ephesians: Wholeness for 
a Broken World. Lifebuilder Bible Study Series. Downers Grove: Inter- 
Varsity, 1985. Pp. 64. $2.95. Paper. 

LIGHTNER, ROBERT P. Evangelical Theology. Grand Rapids: Baker, 1986. 
Pp. 303. n.p. 

LOADER, J. A. Ecclesiastes: A Practical Commentary. Text and Interpreta- 
tion. Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1986. Pp. 136. $6.95. Paper. 

LOCKYER, HERBERT, Sr., ed. Nelson's Illustrated Bible Dictionary. Nash- 
ville: Thomas Nelson, 1986. Pp. 1128. $26.95. 

LOVELACE, RICHARD F. Renewal As A Way Of Life. Downers Grove: 
InterVarsity, 1985. Pp. 186. $6.95. Paper. 

LUCADO, MAX. No Wonder They Call Him Savior. Portland: Multnomah, 
1986. Pp. 164. n.p. Paper. 

LUEKING, F. DEAN. Preaching: The Art Of Connecting God and People. 
Waco, TX: Word, 1985. Pp. 128. $12.95. 

WALHOUT. The Responsibility of Hermeneutics. Grand Rapids: Eerd- 
mans, 1985. Pp. 129. $8.95. Paper. 

LYALL, FRANCIS. Slaves, Citizens and Sons. Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 
1984. Pp. 288. $9.95. Paper. 

MacARTHUR, JOHN, Jr. The Legacy of Jesus. Chicago: Moody, 1986. 
Pp. 142. n.p. Paper. 

MacARTHUR, JOHN, Jr. The MacArthur New Testament Commentary: 
Matthew 1-7. Chicago: Moody, 1985. Pp. 506. n.p. 

McDonald, H. D. The Atonement of the Death of Christ. Grand Rapids: 
Baker, 1985. Pp. 337. $19.95. 

McKENNA, DAVID L. Renewing Our Ministry. Waco, TX: Word, 1986. 
Pp. 164. $11.95. 

McKIM, DONALD K. What Christians Believe About the Bible. Nashville: 
Thomas Nelson, 1985. Pp. 192. $7.95. 

McQUAID, ELWOOD. The Outpouring: Jesus in the Feasts of Israel. 
Chicago: Moody, 1986. Pp. 60. n.p. Paper. 


MARSH, F. E. Practical Truths from I Thessalonians. Grand Rapids: Kregel, 
1986. Pp. 271. $12.95. 

MARSHALL, PAUL. Thine is the Kingdom. Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1986. 
Pp. 160. $7.95. Paper. 

MARTENS, EDWARD A. Jeremiah. Believers Church Bible Commentary. 
Scottsdale, PA: Herald, 1986. Pp. 327. n.p. Paper. 

MAYO, MARY ANN. Parent's Guide to Sex Education. Grand Rapids: 
Zondervan, 1986. Pp. 220. $6.95. Paper. 

MOTYER, ALEC. The Message of James. The Bible Speaks Today Series. 
Downers Grove: InterVarsity, 1985. Pp. 214. $6.95. Paper. 

NARRAMORE, CLYDE M. Parents At Their Best. Nashville: Thomas 
Nelson, 1985. Pp. 192. $7.95. Paper. 

NEGEV, AVRAHAM, ed. The Archaeological Encyclopedia of the Holy 
Land. Nashville: Thomas Nelson, 1986. Pp. 418. $24.95. 

NETTLE, THOMAS, Jr. By His Grace and For His Glory. Grand Rapids: 
Baker, 1986. Pp. 442. $12.95. 


Friends in Love: Growing Together in Marriage. Portland: Multnomah, 
1986. Pp. 194. $6.95. Paper. 

NEUHAUS, RICHARD JOHN. Dispensations: The Future of South Africa 
as South Africans See It. Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1986. Pp. 317. n.p. 

NEWBIGIN, LESLIE. Foolishness to the Greeks. Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 
1986. Pp. 152. $7.95. Paper. 

NICHOLLS, BRUCE, J., ed. In Word and Deed: Evangelism and Social 
Responsibility. Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1985. Pp. 238. $10.95. Paper. 

NYQUIST, JAMES F. and JACK KUHATSCHEK. Leading Bible Discus- 
sions. Lifebuilders Bible Study Series. Completely Revised and Expanded. 
Downers Grove: InterVarsity, 1985. Pp. 64. $2.95. Paper. 

PALAU, LUIS. What is a Real Christian^ Portland: Multnomah, 1985. 
Pp. 21. $1.50. Booklet. 

PAMPLIN, ROBERT, Jr. Everything Is Just Great. Portland: Multnomah, 
1985. Pp. 120. $8.95. 

PARSHALL, PHIL. Beyond the Mosque. Grand Rapids: Baker, 1985. 
Pp. 256. $9.95. Paper. 

PEALE, JOHN S. Biblical History as the Quest for Maturity. Lewiston, NY: 
Edwin Mellen, 1985. Pp. 119. $19.95. 

PHILLIPS, JOHN. Exploring the Psalms. Vol. 1, Psalms 1-41. Neptune, NJ: 
Loizeaux Brothers, 1985. Pp. 319. $14.95. 


PHILLIPS, JOHN. Exploring the Psalms. Vol. 2, Psalms 42-72. Neptune, NJ: 
Loizeaux Brothers, 1986. Pp. 285. $14.95. 

PICKERING, HY. Chief Men Among the Brethren. Neptune, NJ: Loizeaux 
Brothers, 1986. Pp. 223. $9.95. Paper. 

PIPPERT, REBECCA and RUTH SIEMENS. Evangelism: A Way of Life. 
Lifebuilder Bible Study Series. Downers Grove: InterVarsity, 1985. 
Pp. 75. $2.95. Paper. 

PITMAN, MICHAEL. Adam and Evolution. Grand Rapids: Baker, 1984. 
Pp. 268. $12.95. 

to the Divorced. Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1986. Pp. 109. $6.95. Paper. 

POWELL, IVOR. Mark's Superb Gospel. Reprint, Grand Rapids: Kregel, 
1975. Pp. 432. $16.95. 

POWELL, IVOR C. What In the World Will Happen Next? Grand Rapids: 
Kregel, 1985. Pp. 176. $5.95. Paper. 

RAINSFORD, MARCUS. Our Lord Prays for His Own. Grand Rapids: 
Kregel, 1985. Pp. 476. $14.95. Paper. 

RAMM, BERNARD L. An Evangelical Christology: Ecumenic and Historic. 
Nashville: Thomas Nelson, 1985. Pp. 229. $14.95. 

REID, DAVID R. Devotions for the Growing Christian. Neptune, NJ: 
Loizeaux Brothers, 1986. Pp. 253. $4.95. Paper. 

RICHARDS, LARRY. Love Your Neighbor. Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 
1986. Pp. 142. $6.95. Paper. 

RICHARDS, LARRY O. Youth Ministry: Its Renewal in the Local Church. 
Revised edition. Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1985. Pp. 320. n.p. 

RICHARDS, LAWRENCE O. Expository Dictionary of Bible Words. Grand 
Rapids: Zondervan, 1985. Pp. 720. $19.95. 

RIDDERBOS, J. Bible Student's Commentary, Isaiah. Grand Rapids: Zon- 
dervan, 1985. Pp. 580. $24.95. 

ROLLS, CHARLES J. His Glorious Name. Neptune, NJ: Loizeaux Brothers, 
1986. Pp. 267. $5.95. Paper. 

ROLLS, CHARLES J. The Name Above Every Name. Neptune, NJ: Loizeaux 
Brothers, 1986. Pp. 255. $5.95. Paper. 

ROLLS, CHARLES J. The World's Greatest Name. Neptune, NJ: Loizeaux 
Brothers, 1985. Pp. 183. $5.95. Paper. 

SCHWAB, RICHARD C. Let The Bible Speak About Tongues. Grand 
Rapids: Kregel, 1985. Pp. 130. $5.95. Paper. 


SHOEMAKER, H. STEPHEN. Retelling the Biblical Story. Nashville: 
Broadman, 1985. Pp 180. n.p. Paper. 

SITTZER, JERRY. The Adventure: Putting Energy into Your Walk with 
God. Downers Grove: InterVarsity, 1985. $6.95. Paper. 

SNYDER, HOWARD A. A Kingdom Manifesto. Downers Grove: Inter- 
Varsity, 1985. Pp. 132. $4.95. Paper. 

SPENCER, AIDA BESANgON. Beyond the Curse: Women Called to 
Ministry. Nashville: Thomas Nelson, 1985. Pp. 223. $10.95. 

STAFFORD, TIM. Finding the Right One. Portland: Multnomah, 1985. 
Pp. 24. $1.50. Booklet. 

STEDMAN, RAY C. Man of Faith. Portland: Multnomah, 1985. Pp. 256. 
$6.95. Paper. 

STEDMAN, RAY C. Solomon's Secrets. Portland: Multnomah, 1985. 
Pp. 171. $6.95. Paper. 

STEIN, JOHN and HOWARD TAYLOR. In Christ All Things Hold 
Together. Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1985. Pp. 171. $5.95. Paper. 

STERK, ANDREA and PETER SCAZZERO. Christian Character. Life- 
builder Bible Study Series. Downers Grove: InterVarsity, 1985. Pp. 64. 
$2.95. Paper. 

STERK, ANDREA and PETER SCAZZERO. Christian Disciplines. Life- 
builder Bible Study Series. Downers Grove: InterVarsity, 1985. Pp. 64. 
$2.95. Paper. 

STEVENS, R. PAUL. Liberating the Laity. Downers Grove: InterVarsity, 
1985. Pp. 177. n.p. Paper. 

STEVENS, R. PAUL. Married for Good. Downers Grove: InterVarsity, 1986. 
Pp. 167. $5.95. Paper. 

STORKEY, ELAINE. What's Right with Feminism. Grand Rapids: Eerd- 
mans, 1986. Pp. 186. $9.95. 

STORMS, C. SAMUEL. Tragedy in Eden: Original Sin in the Theology of 
Jonathan Edwards. Lanham, MD: University Press of America, 1985. 
Pp. 316. 

STOTT, R. W. and BASIL MEEKING. Evangelical- Roman Catholic Dia- 
logue on Mission 1977-1984. Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1986. Pp. 96. 
$4.95. Paper. 

STREETER, CAROLE SANDERSON. Finding Your Place After Divorce: 
How Women Can Find Healing. Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1986. 
Pp. 157. $5.95. Paper. 

SUMNER, ROBERT L. Jesus Christ Is God. Murfreesboro, TN: Biblical 
Evangelism, 1985. Pp. 329. n.p. Paper. 


SWINDOLL, CHARLES R. Moral Purity. Portland: Multnomah, 1985. 
Pp. 28. $1.50. Booklet. 

SWINDOLL, CHARLES R. Our Mediator. Portland: Multnomah, 1985. 
Pp. 24. $1.50. Booklet. 

SWINDOLL, CHARLES R. When Your Comfort Zone Gets the Squeeze. 
Portland: Multnomah, 1985. Pp. 20. $1.50. Booklet. 

TALLEY, JIM. Reconcilable Differences: Mending Broken Relationships. 
Nashville: Thomas Nelson, 1985. Pp. 171. $9.95. 

TENNEY, MERRILL C. New Testament Survey. Revised by Walter M. 
Dunnett, Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1985. Pp. 454. $9.95. 

THOMAS, W. H. GRIFFITH. Through the Pentateuch. Grand Rapids: 
Kregel, 1985. Pp. 191. $5.95. Paper. 

TIDBALL, DEREK. The Social Context of the New Testament. Grand 
Rapids: Zondervan, 1984. Pp. 160. n.p. Paper. 

TOON, PETER. Heaven and Hell. Nashville: Thomas Nelson, 1986. Pp. 223. 
$8.93. Paper. 

TOWNSLEY, DAVID and RUSSELL BJORK. Scripture Index to the New 
International Dictionary of New Testament Theology. Grand Rapids: 
Zondervan, 1985. Pp. 320. $8.95. Paper. 

VAN HARTINGSVELD, L. Revelation: A Practical Commentary. Grand 
Rapids: Eerdmans, 1985. Pp. 103. n.p. Paper. 

VAN LEEUWEN, MARY STEWART. The Person in Psychology. Grand 
Rapids: Eerdmans, 1985. Pp. 263. n.p. Paper. 

VAN SELMS, A. Job: A Practical Commentary. Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 
1985. Pp. 160. n.p. Paper. 

VAN TILL, HOWARD J. The Fourth Day. Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1986. 
Pp. 286. $9.95. Paper. 

VINE, W. E. An Expository Dictionary of New Testament Words. Reprint, 
Chicago: Moody, 1985. Pp. 351. n.p. Paper. 

Expository Dictionary of Biblical Words. Nashville: Thomas Nelson, 

1985. Pp. 775. n.p. 

VINES, JERRY. A Guide To Effective Sermon Delivery. Chicago: Moody, 

1986. Pp. 170. n.p. 

VOS, ARVIN. Aquinas, Calvin and Contemporary Protestant Thought. Grand 
Rapids Eerdmans, 1986. $13.95. Pp. 178. Paper. 

WALTER, TONY. Need, the New Religion. Downers Grove: InterVarsity, 
1985. Pp. 173. $6.95. Paper. 


WALTON, ROBERT C. Chronological and Background Charts of Church 
History. Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1986. Pp. 84. $8.95. Paper. 

WATTS, JOHN W. D. Word Biblical Commentary. Isaiah 1-33. Waco, TX: 
Word, 1985. Pp. 448. n.p. 

WEBBER, ROBERT E. Evangelicals on the Canterbury Trail. Waco, TX: 
Word, 1985. Pp. 174. $12.95. 

WEBBER, ROBERT E. The Book of Family Prayer. Nashville: Thomas 
Nelson, 1986. Pp. 334. n.p. 

WEBBER, ROBERT E. The Church in the World. Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 
1986. Pp. 333. $11.95. Paper. 

WENHAM, JOHN W. The Enigma of Evil. Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1985. 
Pp. 223. $7.95. Paper. 

WESBERRY, JAMES P. The Lord's Day. Nashville: Broadman, 1986. 
Pp. 287. n.p. Paper. 

WESTING, HAROLD. Multiple Church Staff Handbook. Grand Rapids: 
Kregel, 1985. Pp. 208. $10.95. Paper. 

WHELCHEL, MARY. The Christian Working Woman. Old Tappan, NJ: 
Fleming H. Revell, 1986. Pp. 224. $9.95. 

WHITCOMB, JOHN C. Daniel. Everyman's Bible Commentary Series. 
Chicago: Moody, 1985. Pp. 173. n.p. Paper. 

WHITE, JOHN. Excellence in Leadership. Downers Grove: InterVarsity, 
1986. Pp. 132. $5.95. Paper. 

WHITE, JOHN and KEN BLUE. Healing the Wounded: The Costly Love of 
Church Discipline. Downers Grove: InterVarsity, 1985. Pp. 238. $11.95. 

WHITMAN, JOYCE R. and PAM VREDEVELT. Walking the Thin Line: 
Anorexia and Bulemia, the Battle Can Be Won. Portland: Multnomah, 
1985. Pp. 234. $6.95. Paper. 

WIERSBE, WARREN. Classical Sermons on Faith and Doubt. Grand 
Rapids: Kregel, 1985. Pp. 152. $7.95. Paper. 

WIERSBE, WARREN W. and DAVID W. WIERSBE. Comforting the 
Bereaved. Chicago: Moody, 1985. Pp. 150. n.p. Paper. 

WILLIAMSON, H. G. M. Word Biblical Commentary on Ezra and Nehemiah. 
Waco, TX: Word, 1985. Pp 417. n.p. 

WILSON, ESTHER F. Renewed Vision: Missions Programming in the Local 
Church. Revised edition, Schaumburg, IL: Regular Baptist, 1984. Pp. 166. 
$4.95. Paper. 

WISEMAN, LUKE H. Practical Truths from Judges. Grand Rapids: Kregel, 
1985. Pp. 364. $12.95. Paper. 


WOODBRIDGE, JOHN D., ed. Renewing Your Mind in a Secular World. 
Chicago: Moody, 1985. Pp. 179. n.p. Paper. 

YANCEY, PHILIP. Money. Portland: Multnomah, 1985. Pp. 24. $1.50. 

YODER, JOHN J. He Came Preaching. Scottsdale, PA: Herald, 1985. 143. 
$8.95. Paper. 

YOUNG, BRAD. The Jewish Background to the Lord's Prayer. Austin, TX: 
Center of Judaic-Christian Studies, 1984. Pp. 46. n.p. Booklet. 

YOUNG, ROBERT. Young's Analytical Concordance to the Bible. Nashville: 
Thomas Nelson, 1982. Pp. 1090. n.p. 

ZEHR, PAUL M. Biblical Criticism in the Life of the Church. Scottsdale, PA: 
Herald, 1986. Pp. 109. $6.95. Paper. 

INDEX 1980-1985 




THIS cumulative, analytical index of GTJ 1-6 (1980-1985) has 
been prepared from the database of Religion Index One, a publi- 
cation of the American Theological Library Association. Articles are 
indexed by subject and author; book reviews are indexed by the 
book's author and by the GT/ reviewer. 



The test of Abraham: Genesis 22:1-19. Lawlor, John I. GTJ \ No 1,19-35 Spr 1980 


The agape - eucharist relationship in 1 Corinthians [Brethren churches]. Coyle, J 
Timothy. Gr/6No 2,411-424 Fall 1985 


Early and medieval Jewish interpretation of the Song of Songs. Fields, Weston W. 
GTJX No 2,221-231 Fall 1980 


An interpretation of Daniel 11:36-45. Harton, George M. GTJ A No 2,205-231 Fall 


The apologetical value of the self-witness of scripture. Grier, James M. GTJ 1 No 

1,71-76 Spr 1980 
Aquinas, Luther, Melanchthon, and biblical apologetics. Selden, Jonathan. GTJ 5 No 

2,181-195 Fall 1984 
Cornelius Van Til and Romans 1:18-21: a study in the epistemology of presupposi- 

tional apologetics. Turner, David L. CTJlNo 1,45-58 Spr 1981 


Christ's atonement and animal sacrifices in Israel [Ezek 40-48]. Whitcomb, John C. 
Gry6 No 2,201-217 Fall 1985 


An interpretive survey: audience reaction quotations in Jeremiah. Manahan, Ronald E. 

GTJ I No 2,163-183 Fall 1980 
A theology of pseudoprophets: a study in Jeremiah. Manahan, Ronald E. GTJ I No 

1,77-96 Spr 1980 



Baptism by triune immersion [among Brethren; Matt 28:19]. Plaster, David R. G77 6 

No 2,383-390 Fall 1985 
The focus of baptism in the New Testament. Averbeck, Richard E. GTJ 2 No 2,265- 

301 Fall 1981 


The "poor" in the beatitudes of Matthew [5:3] and Luke [6:20-26]. Meadors, Gary T. 
G7y6 No 2,305-314 Fall 1985 


The apologetical value of the self-witness of scripture. Grier, James M. GTJ 1 No 

1,71-76 Spr 1980 
Aquinas, Luther, Melanchthon, and biblical apologetics. Selden, Jonathan. GTJ 5 No 

2,181-195 Fall 1984 
Brethrenism and Creeds. Julien, Thomas. Gry6 No 2,373-81 (1985) Fall 1985 


The continuity of scripture and eschatology: key hermeneutical issues. Turner, David 

L. cry 6 No 2,275-287 Fall 1985 
The relation of purpose and meaning in interpreting scripture. Geisler, Norman L. GTJ 

5 No 2,229-245 Fall 1984 


Martin Luther's christological hermeneutics. Dockery, David S. GTJ A No 2,189-203 
Fall 1983 


Evangelicals, redaction criticism, and inerrancy: the debate continues. Turner, David 

L. GTJ 5 no 1,37-45 Spr 1984 
Evangelicals, redaction criticism, and the current inerrancy crisis. Turner, David L. 

Gry4 No 2,263-288 Fall 1983 


Aiming the mind: a key to godly living. Zemek, George J. GTJ 5 No 2,205-227 Fall 

The ethics of inflation: a biblical critique of the causes and consequences. Larkin, 

William J. GTJ 3 No 1,89-105 Spr 1982 


Evangelicals, redaction criticism, and inerrancy: the debate continues. Turner, David 

L. GTJ 5^0 1,37-45 Spr 1984 
Evangelicals, redaction criticism, and the current inerrancy crisis. Turner, David L. 

Gr/4 No 2,263-288 Fall 1983 
The inerrancy debate and the use of scripture in counseling. Hindson, Edward E. GTJ 

3 No 2,207-219 Fall 1982 
The problem of the mustard seed. Sproule, John A. GTJ 1 No 1,37-42 Spr 1980 


Paul's use of the Old Testament in Romans 9:25-26. Battle, John A. GTJ 2 No 1,115- 

129 Spr 1981 
The prophet's watchword: Day of the Lord. Mayhue, Richard L. G77 6 No 2,231-246 

Fall 1985 
The purpose and program of the prophetic word. Hoyt, Herman A. GTJ A No 2,163- 

171 Fall 1983 
Studies in honor of Herman Arthur Hoyt [por; bibliog]. Kent, Homer A, Jr, and 

Whitcomb, John C, eds. GTJ 6 No 2, 167-455 Fall 1985 


The translation of biblical live and dead metaphors and similes and other idioms. 
Fields, Weston W. G7y2 No 2,191- 204 Fall 1981 

INDEX 283 


Difficulties of New Testament genealogies. Overstreet, R Larry. GTJ 2 No 2,303-326 
Fall 1981 


The classification of infinitives: a statistical study [Greek; tables]. Boyer, James L. GTJ 

6 No 1,3-27 Spr 1985 
The classification of participles: a statistical study [Greek; tables]. Boyer, James L. 

GryS No 2,163-179 Fall 1984 
Ephesians 2:3c and peccatum originale [semiticisms; tables]. Turner, David L. GTJ 1 

No 2,195-219 Fall 1980 
Errant Aorist Interpreters. Smith, Charles R. GTJ 2 No 2,206-26 Fall 1981 
First class conditions: what do they mean [appendix of NT examples]. Boyer, James L. 

GTJ 2No 1,75-1 14 Spr 1981 
Other conditional elements in New Testament Greek. Boyer, James L. GTJ 4 No 2,173- 

188 Fall 1983 
Project Gramcord: a report. Boyer, James L. GTJ 1 No 1,97-99 Spr 1980 
Second class conditions in New Testament Greek. Boyer, James L. GTJ 3 No 1,81-88 

Spr 1982 
The semantic range of the article-noun-Kai-noun plural construction in the New 

Testament [figs]. Wallace, Daniel B. G77 4 No 1,59-84 Spr 1983 
The semantics and exegetical significance of the object - complement construction in 

the New Testament. Wallace, Daniel B. GTy 6 No 1,91-1 12 Spr 1985 
Third (and fourth) class conditions [NT Greek grammar]. Boyer, James L. GTJ 3 No 

2,163-175 Fall 1982 


The ancient exegesis of Genesis 6:2,4. Newman, Robert C. GTJ 5 No 1,13-36 Spr 1984 
The continuity of scripture and eschatology: key hermeneutical issues. Turner, David L. 

Gry6 No 2,275-287 Fall 1985 
Daniel 7: a vision of future world history [four beasts; little horn; Son of Man]. 

Gangel, Kenneth O. Gry6 No 2, 247-256 Fall 1985 
Interpretive challenges relating to Habakkuk 2:4b. Zemek, George J. GTJ 1 No 1,43-69 

Spr 1980 
Martin Luther's christological hermeneutics. Dockery, David S. GTJ 4 No 2,189-203 

Fall 1983 
Paul's use of the Old Testament in Romans 9:25-26. Battle, John A. GTJ 2 No 1,115- 

129 Spr 1981 
The promise of the arrival of Elijah in Malachi and the Gospels. Kaiser, Walter C, Jr. 

Gry3 No 2,221-233 Fall 1982 


The focus of baptism in the New Testament. Averbeck, Richard E. GTJ 2 No 2,265- 

301 Fall 1981 
Romans 7:14-25: Pauline tension in the Christian life. Dockery, David S. GTJ 2 No 

2,239-257 Fall 1981 
A study of "mystery" in the New Testament. Wiley, Galen W. GTJ 6 No 2,349-360 Fall 

The uniqueness of New Testament church eldership [diag]. Miller, David W. GTJ 6 No 

2,315-327 Fall 1985 


The agape - eucharist relationship in 1 Corinthians [Brethren churches]. Coyle, J 

Timothy. Gry 6 No 2,411-424 Fall 1985 
A fresh look at 1 Corinthians 15:34: an appeal for evangelism or a call to purity? Kent, 

Homer A, Jr. Gry4 No 1,3- 14 Spr 1983 
When is communion communion ["communion service" as other than the eucharist; Lk 

22:15-20; 1 Cor 11]. Custer, James. Gry6 No 2,403-410 Fall 1985 



The glory of Christian ministry: an analysis of 2 Corinthians 2:14-4:18. Kent, Homer 
A, Jr. Gr/2 No 2,171-189 Fall 1981 


Ephesians 2:3c and peccatum originale [semiticisms; tables]. Turner, David L. GTJ 1 
No 2,195-219 Fall 1980 

The peculiarities of Ephesians and the Ephesian address. Black, David Alan. GTJ 2 No 
1,59-73 Spr 1981 

The semantic range of the article-noun-Kai-noun plural construction in the New Testa- 
ment [Eph 4:1 1]. Wallace, Daniel B. Gr/ 4 No 1,59-84 Spr 1983 


Weakness language in Galatians. Black, David Alan. GTJ A No 1,15-36 Spr 1983 


The rich young man in Matthew [tables: Matthew/ Luke agreements against Mark]. 

Thomas, Robert L. G77 3 No 2,235- 260 Fall 1982 
Understanding the difficult words of Jesus (review article). Fields, Weston W. 5 No 

2,271-88 Fall 1984 


The text of John 3:13 [table]. Black, David Alan. Gr/6 No 1,49-66 Spr 1985 


The eschatology of the warning passages in the Book of Hebrews. Toussaint, Stanley D. 

cry 3 No 1,67-80 Spr 1982 
TtapartEooviaq in Hebrews 6:6 [participle; fig]. Sproule, John A. GTJ 1 No 2,327-332 

Fall 1981 


Footwashing as an ordinance. Edgington, Allen. GTJ d No 2,425-34 Fall 1985. 

The great tribulation: kept "out of" or "through"? Winfrey, David G. GTJ 3 No 1,3-18 

Spr 82 
The text of John 3:13 [table]. Black, David Alan. G77 6 No 1,49-66 Spr 1985 


Difficulties of New Testament genealogies. Overstreet, R Larry. G77 2 No 2,303-326 

Fall 1981 
The new covenant and the church [Luke 22:20]. Kent, Homer A, Jr. GTJ 6 No 2,289- 

298 Fall 1985 
The "poor" in the beatitudes of Matthew [5:3] and Luke [6:20-26]. Meadors, Gary T. 

G77 6 No 2,305-314 Fall 1985 


"Everyone will be salted with fire" (Mark 9:49) [aXiC,(i) = Heb mlh, "destroy"]. Fields, 

Weston W. GTJ 6 No 2,299-304 Fall 1985 
The problem of the mustard seed [Mark 4:31]. Sproule, John A. GTJ 1 No 1,37-42 Spr 



Baptism by triune immersion [Matt 28:19]. Plaster, David R. GTJ 6 No 2,383-90 Fall 

Biblical teaching on divorce and remarriage [Matt 5:32; 18:9]. Ryrie, Charles C. GTJ 3 

No 2,177-192 Fall 1982 
Difficulties of New Testament genealogies. Overstreet, R Larry. GTJ 2 No 2,303-326 

Fall 1981 
The "poor" in the beatitudes of Matthew [5:3] and Luke [6:20-26]. Meadors, Gary T. 

Gry6 No 2,305-314 Fall 1985 
Is a posttribulational rapture revealed in Matthew 24? Walvoord, John F. GTJ 6 No 

2,257-266 Fall 1985 
The problem of the mustard seed [Matt 13:32]. Sproule, John A. GTJ 1 No 1,37-42 

Spr 1980 

INDEX 285 

The rich young man in Matthew [tables: Matthew/ Luke agreements against Mark]. 
Thomas, Robert L. GrJ3 No 2,235- 260 Fall 1982 


Are the seven letters of Revelation 2-3 prophetic? Boyer, James L. GTJ 6 No 2,267-273 

Fall 1985 
The Book of Life. Smith, Charles R. GTJ 6 No 2,219-30 Fall 1985 
Daniel 7: a vision of future world history [four beasts; little horn; Son of Man]. 

Gangel, Kenneth O. GTJ 6 'No 2, 247-256 Fall 1985 
The great tribulation: kept "out of" or "through"? Winfrey, David G. Cry 3 No 1 ,3- 18 

The "overcomer" of the Apocalypse. Rosscup, James E. GTJ 3 No 2,261-286 Fall 1982 
Robert H Gundry and Revelation 3:10 [partial review of The church and the tribula- 
tion, 1973]. Edgar, Thomas R. GTJ 3 No 1,19-49 Spr 1982 


Cornelius Van Til and Romans 1:18-21: a study in the epistemology of presupposi- 

tional apologetics. Turner, David L. Gr/2 No 1,45-58 Spr 1981 
Interpretive challenges relating to Habakkuk 2:4b. Zemek, George J., Jr. GTJ 1 No 

1,43- 69 Spr 1980 
Paul's use of the Old Testament in Romans 9:25-26. Battle, John A. GTJ 2 No 1,1 15- 

129 Spr 1981 
Romans 7:14-25: Pauline tension in the Christian life. Dockery, David S. GTJ 2 No 

2,239-257 Fall 1981 
The semantics and exegetical significance of the object - complement construction in 

the New Testament [Romans 10:9]. Wallace, Daniel B. GTJ 6 No 1,91-112 Spr 



Christ's atonement and animal sacrifices in Israel [Ezek 40-48; Rom 9-11]. Whitcomb, 
JohnC. (;ry6 No 2,201-217 Fall 1985 


The meaning of "sleep" in 1 Thess 5:10: a reappraisal [diag]. Howard, Tracy L. GTJ 6 
No 2,337-348 Fall 1985 


The semantics and exegetical significance of the object - complement construction in 
the New Testament.[Titus 2:10] Wallace, Daniel B. GTJeNo 1,91-112 Spr 1985 


Palestinian archaeology and the date of the conquest: do tells tell tales? Merrill, 
Eugene H. Grj3 No 1,107-121 Spr 1982 


The ancient exegesis of Genesis 6:2,4. Newman, Robert C. GTJ 5 No 1,13-36 Spr 1984 
Early and medieval Jewish interpretation of the Song of Songs. Fields, Weston W. 
G 77 No 2,221-231 Fall 1980 


Restoration and its blessings: a theological analysis of Psalms 51 and 32. Barentsen, 

Jack. GTJ 5 No 2,247-269 Fall 1984 
Theology and art in the narrative of the Ammonite War (2 Samuel 10-12). Lawlor, 

John I. GTJ 3 No 2,193-205 Fall 1982 


How are the mighty fallen: a study of 2 Samuel 1:17-27 [appendix: structural diagram 

of 2 Sam 1:19-27]. Zapf, David L. GrJ5 No 1,95-126 Spr 1984 
The sheep merchants of Zechariah 11. Finley, Thomas J. G77 3 No 1,51-65 Spr 1982 


Theology and art in the narrative of the Ammonite War (2 Samuel 10-12). Lawlor, 
John I. Grj 3 No 2,193-205 Fall 1982 



Daniel's great seventy-weeks prophecy: an exegetical insight. Whitcomb, John C. GTJ 

2 No 2,259-263 Fall 1981 
Daniel 7: a vision of future world history [four beasts; little horn; Son of Man]. 

Gangel, Kenneth O. G77 6 No 2, 247-256 Fall 1985 
An interpretation of Daniel 11:36-45. Harton, George M. GTJ A No 2,205-231 Fall 



Christ's atonement and animal sacrifices in Israel [Ezek 40-48]. Whitcomb, John C. 

Gry6 No 2,201-217 Fall 1985 
Rosh: an ancient land known to Ezekiel. Price, James D. GTJ 6 No 1,67-89 Spr 1985 


The ancient exegesis of Genesis 6:2,4. Newman, Robert C. GTJ 5 No 1,13-36 Spr 1984 
Genesis 1-3 and the male/female role relationship. Stitzinger, Michael F. GTJ 2 No 

1,23-44 Spr 1981 
The test of Abraham: Genesis 22:1-19. Lawlor, John I. GTJ 1 No 1,19-35 Spr 1980 


Interpretive challenges relating to Habakkuk 2:4b. Zemek, George J. GTJ 1 No 1,43-69 
Spr 1980 


Paul's use of the Old Testament in Romans 9:25-26. Battle, John A. GTJ 2 No 1,115- 
129 Spr 1981 


An interpretive survey: audience reaction quotations in Jeremiah. Manahan, Ronald E. 

GTJ 1 No 2,163-183 Fall 1980 
The new covenant and the church [Jer 31]. Kent, Homer A, Jr. GTJ 6 No 2,289-298 

Fall 1985 
A theology of pseudoprophets: a study in Jeremiah. Manahan, Ronald E. GTJ 1 No 

1,77-96 Spr 1980 


Palestinian archaeology and the date of the conquest: do tells tell tales? Merrill, Eugene 
H. GTJ3 No 1,107-121 Spr 1982 


The promise of the arrival of Elijah in Malachi and the Gospels. Kaiser, Walter C, Jr. 
G77 3 No 2,221-233 Fall 1982 


A multiplex approach to Psalm 45. Patterson, Richard D. GTJ 6 No 1,29-48 Spr 1985 
Restoration and its blessings: a theological analysis of Psalms 51 and 32. Barentsen, 
Jack. GTJ 5 No 2,247-269 Fall 1984 


How are the mighty fallen: a study of 2 Samuel 1:17-27 [appendix: structural diagram 
of 2 Sam 1:19-27]. Zapf, David L. Gry5 No 1,95-126 Spr 1984 

Theology and art in the narrative of the Ammonite War (2 Samuel 10-12). Lawlor, 
John I. G77 3 No 2,193-205 Fall 1982 


Early and medieval Jewish interpretation of the Song of Songs. Fields, Weston W. 
GTJ I No 2,221-231 Fall 1980 


The sheep merchants of Zechariah 11. Finley, Thomas J. GTJ 3 No 1,51-65 Spr 1982 


A Festschrift for James L. Boyer. Smith, Charles R. GTJ 2 No 2,163-66 Fall 1981 
The writings of Herman A Hoyt: a select bibliography, 1934-1984. Ibach, Robert D, 
Jr. GTJ 6 No 2,187-199 Fall 1985 

INDEX 287 


Bibliotheca Sacra and Darwinism: an analysis of the nineteenth-century conflict 
between science and theology. Hannah, John D. GTJ A No 1,37-58 Spr 1983 


Shepherds, lead [pastor's role]. Young, Jerry R. GTy 6 No 2,329-335 Fall 1985 


The book of life [in OT and NT]. Smith, Charles R. GTJ 6 No 2,219-230 Fall 1985 


James L Boyer: a biographical sketch. Hoyt, Herman A. GTJ 2 No 2,167-170 Fall 1981 
Studies in honor of James L Boyer. Smith, Charles R, ed. GTJ 2 No 2,163-339 Fall 


The exodus-conquest and the archaeology of Transjordan: new light on an old problem. 
Mattingly, Gerald L.GTJ4 No 2,245-262 Fall 1983 


Martin Luther's christological hermeneutics. Dockery, David S. GTJ 4 No 2,189-203 
Fall 1983 


Restoration and its blessings: a theological analysis of Psalms 51 and 32. Barentsen, 
Jack. GTJ 5 No 2,247-269 Fall 1984 


A time to teach. Kent, Homer A, Jr. GTJ 1 No 1,7-17 Spr 1980 


Luther on life without dichotomy. McGoldrick, James E. GTJ 5 No 1,3-1 1 Spr 1984 


A fresh look at 1 Corinthians 15:34: an appeal for evangelism or a call to purity? Kent, 

Homer A, Jr. GTJ 4 No 1,3- 14 Spr 1983 
Romans 7:14-25: Pauline tension in the Christian life. Dockery, David S. GTJ 2 No 

2,239-257 Fall 1981 


Transformed into His image: a Christian papyrus [Greek text in photo and translitera- 
tion, translation]. Sandy, D Brent. GTJ 2 No 2,227-237 Fall 1981 


John R W Stott on social action. Meadors, Gary T.GTJl No 2,129-147 Fall 1980 


The Christian and war: a matter of personal conscience. Plaster, David R. GTJ 6 No 
2,435-455 Fall 1985 


Kenneth Scott Latourette, a trail blazer: a critical evaluation of Latourette's theory of 
religious history. Hannah, John D. GTJ 2 No 1,1-22 Spr 1981 


The uniqueness of New Testament church eldership [diag]. Miller, David W. GTJ 6 No 
2,315-327 Fall 1985 


The contributions of John and Charles Wesley to the spread of popular religion. 
Rogal, Samuel J. Gry4 No 2,233-244 Fall 1983 


Shepherds, lead [pastor's role]. Young, Jerry R. GTJ 6 No 2,329-335 Fall 1985 


Luther on life without dichotomy. McGoldrick, James E. GTJ 5 No 1,3-11 Spr 1984 



The exodus-conquest and the archaeology of Transjordan: new Hght on an old problem. 

Mattingly, Gerald L. GTJ A No 2,245-262 Fall 1983 
Palestinian archaeology and the date of the conquest: do tells tell tales? Merrill, Eugene 

H. Gr73No 1,107-121 Spr 1982 


The Christian and war: a matter of personal conscience. Plaster, David R. GTJ 6 No 
2,435-455 Fall 1985 


The origin of the universe ["big bang theory"]. De Young, Donald B and Whitcomb, 
John C.GTJl No 2,149-161 Fall 1980 


Christ's atonement and animal sacrifices in Israel [Ezek 40-48]. Whitcomb, John C. 

Gr/6 No 2,201-217 Fall 1985 
The new covenant and the church. Kent, Homer A, Jr. G 77 6 No 2,289-298 Fall 1985 
A theology of pseudoprophets: a study in Jeremiah. Manahan, Ronald E. GTJ \ No 

1,77-96 Spr 1980 


Bibliotheca Sacra and Darwinism: an analysis of the nineteenth-century conflict between 
science and theology. Hannah, John D. G 77 4 No 1,37-58 Spr 1983 


The origin of the universe ["big bang theory"]. DeYoung, Donald B and Whitcomb, 
John C.GTJl No 2,149-161 Fall 1980 


Brethrenism and creeds. Julien, Thomas. G77 6 No 2,373-381 Fall 1985 


Contextualization in missions: a biblical and theological appraisal. Engle, Richard W. 
Gry4No 1,85-107 Spr 1983 


The contributions of John and Charles Wesley to the spread of popular religion. 
Rogal, Samuel J. G 77 4 No 2,233-244 Fall 1983 


The prophet's watchword: Day of the Lord. Mayhue, Richard L. GTJ 6 No 2,231-246 
Fall 1985 


The meaning of "sleep" in 1 Thess 5:10: a reappraisal [diag]. Howard, Tracy L. GTJ 6 

No 2,337-348 Fall 1985 


Theses and dissertations at Grace Theological Seminary, 1982 [M Div, Th M, Th D, 

M A]. Gr/4 No 2,318-20 Fall 1983 
Theses and dissertations at Grace Theological Seminary, 1983 [M Div, Th M, Th D, 

M A]. G7y5 No 2,319-20 Fall 1984 
Theses and dissertations at Grace Theological Seminary, 1985 [M Div, Th M, Th D, 

M A]. Gry 6 No 2,478-480 Fall 1985 


Biblical teaching on divorce and remarriage. Ryrie, Charles C. GTJ 3 No 2,177-192 
Fall 1982 


The ethics of inflation: a biblical critique of the causes and consequences. Larkin, 
William J. GTJ 3 No 1,89-105 Spr 1982 

INDEX 289 


Shepherds, lead [pastor's role]. Young, Jerry R. GTJ 6 No 2,329-335 Fall 1985 
The uniqueness of New Testament church eldership [diag]. Miller, David W. GTJ 6 No 
2,315-327 Fall 1985 


The promise of the arrival of Elijah in Malachi and the Gospels. Kaiser, Waher C, Jr. 
077 3 No 2,221-233 Fall 1982 


The continuity of scripture and eschatology: key hermeneutical issues. Turner, David L. 

G77 6 No 2,275-287 Fall 1985 
The eschatology of the warning passages in the Book of Hebrews. Toussaint, Stanley D. 

G 77 3 No 1,67-80 Spr 1982 
The prophet's watchword: Day of the Lord. Mayhue, Richard L. GTJ 6 No 2,231-246 

Fall 1985 


Evangelistic praying. Mitchell, Curtis. GTJ 5 No 1,127-133 Spr 1984 


Bibliotheca Sacra and Darwinism: an analysis of the nineteenth-century conflict between 
science and theology. Hannah, John D. (777 4 No 1,37-58 Spr 1983 


The exodus-conquest and the archaeology of Transjordan: new light on an old problem. 
Mattingly, Gerald L. 077 4 No 2,245-262 Fall 1983 


Interpretive challenges relating to Habakkuk 2:4b. Zemek, George J. G77 I No 1,43-69 
Spr 1980 


Studies in honor of Herman Arthur Hoyt [por; bibliog]. Kent, Homer A, Jr, and 
Whitcomb, John C, eds. G77 6 No 2, 167-455 Fall 1985 


Studies in honor of Herman Arthur Hoyt [por; bibliog]. Kent, Homer A, Jr, and 

Whitcomb, John C, eds. GTJ 6 No 2, 167-455 Fall 1985 
Studies in honor of James L Boyer. Smith, Charles R, ed. GTJ 2 No 2,163-339 Fall 



The agape - eucharist relationship in 1 Corinthians [Brethren churches]. Coyle, 
J Timothy. G77 6 No 2,411-424 Fall 1985 


The purpose and program of the prophetic word. Hoyt, Herman A. GTJ 4 No 2,163- 
171 Fall 1983 


The exodus-conquest and the archaeology of Transjordan: new light on an old problem. 
Mattingly, Gerald L. G77 4 No 2,245-262 Fall 1983 


Cornelius Van Til and Romans 1:18-21: a study in the epistemology of presupposi- 
tional apologetics. Turner, David L. GTJ 2No 1,45-58 Spr 1981 


The text of John 3:13 [table]. Black, David Alan. GTJ 6 No 1,49-66 Spr 1985 


Editorial [origin and purpose]. Whitcomb, John C. GTJ \ No 1,3-5 Spr 1980 



The contributions of John and Charles Wesley to the spread of popular religion. 
Rogal, Samuel J. G774 No 2,233-244 Fall 1983 


The classification of infinitives: a statistical study [Greek; tables]. Boyer, James L. GTJ 

6 No 1,3-27 Spr 1985 
The classification of participles: a statistical study [Greek; tables]. Boyer, James L. 

(?ry5 No 2,163-179 Fall 1984 
Errant aorist interpreters [Greek language]. Smith, Charles R. GTJ 2 No 2,205-226 

Fall 1981 
First class conditions: what do they mean [appendix of NT examples]. Boyer, James L. 

cry 2 No 1,75-114 Spr 1981 
Other conditional elements in New Testament Greek. Boyer, James L. GTJ A No 2,173- 

188 Fall 1983 
TtapaTieoovTai; in Hebrews 6:6 [participle; fig]. Sproule, John A. GTJ 2 No 2,327-332 

Fall 1981 
Project Gramcord: a report. Boyer, James L. GTJ 1 No 1,97-99 Spr 1980 
Second class conditions in New Testament Greek. Boyer, James L. GTJ 3 No 1,81-88 

Spr 1982 
The semantic range of the article-noun-Kai-noun plural construction in the New 

Testament [figs]. Wallace, Daniel B. Gr74 No 1,59-84 Spr 1983 
The semantics and exegetical significance of the object - complement construction in 

the New Testament. Wallace, Daniel B. G 77 6 No 1,91-1 12 Spr 1985 
Third (and fourth) class conditions [NT Greek grammar]. Boyer, James L. GTJ 3 No 

2,163-175 Fall 1982 


The case for modern pronunciation of biblical languages. Cohen, Gary G, and Sellers, 
C Norman. GTJ 5 No 2,197-203 Fall 1984 


Ephesians 2:3c and peccatum originate [semiticisms; tables]. Turner, David L. GTJ 1 

No 2,195-219 Fall 1980 
"Everyone will be salted with fire" (Mark 9:49) [aXi^ca = Heb mlh, "destroy"]. Fields, 

Weston W.GTJ6 No 2,299-304 Fall 1985 


The case for modern pronunciation of biblical languages. Cohen, Gary G, and Sellers, 
C Norman. GTJ 5 No 2,197-203 Fall 1984 


Paulus infirmus: the Pauline concept of weakness. Black, David Alan. GTJ 5 No 1,77- 

93 Spr 1984 
Weakness language in Galatians. Black, David Alan. G774 No 1,15-36 Spr 1983 


John R W Stott on social action. Meadors, Gary T.GTJl No 2,129-147 Fall 1980 


"Everyone will be salted with fire" (Mark 9:49) {aXvC^di ~ Heb mlh, "destroy"]. Fields, 
Weston W. GTJ 6 No 2,299-304 Fall 1985 


The meaning of "sleep" in 1 Thess 5:10: a reappraisal [diag]. Howard, Tracy L. GTJ 6 

No 2,337-348 Fall 1985 


A study of "mystery" in the New Testament. Wiley, Galen W. GTJ6 No 2,349-360 Fall 

INDEX 291 


Aiming the mind: a key to godly living. Zemek, George J. GTJ 5 No 2,205-227 Fall 


jtapajieaoviaq in Hebrews 6:6 [participle; fig]. Sproule, John A. GTJ 1 No l,'iTI-'i2i2 
Fall 1981 


Aiming the mind: a key to godly living. Zemek, George J. GTJ 5 No 2,205-227 Fall 


Ephesians 2:3c and peccatum originale [semiticisms; tables]. Turner, David L. GTJ 1 
No 2,195-219 Fall 1980 


Interpretive challenges relating to Habakkuk 2:4b. Zemek, George J. GTJ I No 1,43-69 
Spr 1980 


The "poor" in the beatitudes of Matthew [5:3] and Luke [6:20-26]. Meadors, Gary T. 
(777 6 No 2,305-314 Fall 1985 


Weakness language in Galatians. Black, David Alan. GTJ 4 No 1,15-36 Spr 1983 


Ephesians 2:3c and peccatum originale [semiticisms; tables]. Turner, David L. GTJ 1 
No 2,195-219 Fall 1980 


The great tribulation: kept "out of" or "through"? Winfrey, David G. GTJ 3 No 1,3-18 
Spr 82 

Robert H Gundry and Revelation 3:10 [partial review of The church and the tribula- 
tion, 1973]. Edgar, Thomas R. Gr/ 7 3 No 1,19-49 Spr 1982 


Evangelicals, redaction criticism, and inerrancy: the debate continues. Turner, David L. 

Gry5No 1,37-45 Spr 1984 
Evangelicals, redaction criticism, and the current inerrancy crisis. Turner, David L. 

G774 No 2,263-288 Fall 1983 
The great tribulation: kept "out of" or "through"? Winfrey, David G. GTJ 3 No 1,3-18 

Spr 1982. 
Robert H. Gundry and Revelation 3:10. Edgar, Thomas R. GTJ 7, No 1,19-49 Spr 1982 


The case for modern pronunciation of bibUcal languages. Cohen, Gary G, and Sellers, 
C Norman. Gr/5 No 2,197-203 Fall 1984 


Interpretive challenges relating to Habakkuk 2:4b. Zemek, George J. GTJ 1 No 1,43-69 
Spr 1980 


The "poor" in the beatitudes of Matthew [5:3] and Luke [6:20-26]. Meadors, Gary T. 
Gry6 No 2,305-314 Fall 1985 


The ancient exegesis of Genesis 6:2,4. Newman, Robert C. G77 5 No 1,13-36 Spr 1984 


The sheep merchants of Zechariah 1 1. Finley, Thomas J. GTJ 3 No 1,51-65 Spr 1982 



Aiming the mind: a key to godly living. Zemek, George J. GTJ 5 No 2,205-227 Fall 


"Everyone will be salted with fire" (Mark 9:49) [aX-i^co = Heb mlh, "destroy"]. Fields, 
Weston W. Gry6 No 2,299-304 Fall 1985 


Aiming the mind: a key to godly living. Zemek, George J. GTJ 5 No 2,205-227 Fall 


Rosh: an ancient land known to Ezekiel. Price, James D. GTJ6^o 1,67-89 Spr 1985 


A study of "mystery" in the New Testament. Wiley, Galen W. GTJ 6 No 2,349-360 Fall 


Aiming the mind: a key to godly living. Zemek, George J. GTJ 5 No 2,205-227 Fall 


Interpretive challenges relating to Habakkuk 2:4b. Zemek, George J. GTJ 1 No 1,43-69 
Spr 1980 


Daniel's great seventy-weeks prophecy: an exegetical insight. Whitcomb, John C. GTJ 

2 No 2,259-263 Fall 1981 


A study of "mystery" in the New Testament. Wiley, Galen W. GTJ 6 No 2,349-360 Fall 


A muhiplex approach to Psalm 45. Patterson, Richard D. GTJ 6 No 1,29-48 Spr 1985 


The continuity of scripture and eschatology: key hermeneutical issues. Turner, David L. 

(777 6 No 2,275-287 Fall 1985 
Martin Luther's christological hermeneutics. Dockery, David S. GTJ 4 No 2,189-203 

Fall 1983 
The relation of purpose and meaning in interpreting scripture. Geisler, Norman L. GTJ 

5 No 2,229-245 Fall 1984 


Kenneth Scott Latourette, a trail blazer: a critical evaluation of Latourette's theory of 
religious history. Hannah, John D. GTJ 2^o 1,1-22 Spr 1981 


The inerrancy debate and the use of scripture in counseling. Hindson, Edward E. GTJ 

3 No 2,207-219 Fall 1982 


Herman A Hoyt: a biographical sketch. Clutter, Ronald T. GTJ 6 No 2,181-186 Fall 

Studies in honor of Herman Arthur Hoyt [por; bibliog]. Kent, Homer A, Jr, and 

Whitcomb, John C, eds. GTJ 6 'No 2, 167-455 Fall 1985 
The writings of Herman A Hoyt: a select bibliography, 1934-1984. Ibach, Robert D, 

Jr. G7y 6 No 2,187-199 Fall 1985 


The Christian and war: a matter of personal conscience. Plaster, David R. GTJ 6 No 
2,435-455 Fall 1985 

INDEX 293 


The ethics of inflation: a biblical critique of the causes and consequences. Larkin, 
William J. Gry3 No 1,89-105 Spr 1982 


The relation of purpose and meaning in interpreting scripture. Geisler, Norman L. GTJ 
5 No 2,229-245 Fall 1984 


Thetestof Abraham: Genesis 22:1-19. Lawlor, John I. G 77 I No 1,19-35 Spr 1980 


Evangelistic praying. Mitchell, Curtis. GTJ 5 No 1,127-133 Spr 1984 


Difficulties of New Testament genealogies. Overstreet, R Larry. GTJ 2 No 2,303-326 
Fall 1981 


The man Christ Jesus. French, Ivan H. GTJ 1 No 2,185-194 Fall 1980 


The text of John 3:13 [table]. Black, David Alan. GTJ 6 No 1,49-66 Spr 1985 


The origin and history of the Samaritans. Brindle, Wayne A. GTJ 5 No 1,47-75 Spr 


Is a posttribulational rapture revealed in Matthew 24? Walvoord, John F. GTJ 6 No 
2,257-266 Fall 1985 


The promise of the arrival of Elijah in Malachi and the Gospels. Kaiser, Walter C, Jr. 
Gry3 No 2,221-233 Fall 1982 


How are the mighty fallen: a study of 2 Samuel 1:17-27 [appendix: structural diagram 
of 2 Sam 1:19-27]. Zapf, David L. GTJ 5 'No 1,95-126 Spr 1984 


The exodus-conquest and the archaeology of Transjordan: new light on an old problem. 
Mattingly, Gerald L. GTJ 4 No 2,245-262 Fall 1983 


The focus of baptism in the New Testament. Averbeck, Richard E. GTJ 2 No 2,265- 
301 Fall 1981 


The continuity of scripture and eschatology: key hermeneutical issues. Turner, David L. 
GTJ 6 No 2,275-287 Fall 1985 


The apologetical value of the self-witness of scripture. Grier, James M. GTJ 1 No 

1,71-76 Spr 1980 
Aquinas, Luther, Melanchthon, and biblical apologetics. Selden, Jonathan. GTJ 5 No 

2,181-195 Fall 1984 
Cornelius Van Til and Romans 1:18-21: a study in the epistemology of presupposi- 

tional apologetics. Turner, David L. GTJlNo 1,45-58 Spr 1981 


How are the mighty fallen: a study of 2 Samuel 1:17-27 [appendix: structural diagram 
of 2 Sam 1:19-27]. Zapf, David L. G775 No 1,95-126 Spr 1984 



Kenneth Scott Latourette, a trail blazer: a critical evaluation of Latourette's theory of 
religious history. Hannah, John D. GTJ 2'No 1,1-22 Spr 1981 


The agape - eucharist relationship in 1 Corinthians [Brethren churches]. Coyle, 

J Timothy. G77 6 No 2,411-424 Fall 1985 
The Lord's Supper until he comes [Brethren Churches; 1 Cor 1 1; Jude 12; 2 Pet 2:13]. 

Farner, Donald. G77 6 No 2, 391-401 Fall 1985 
When is communion communion ["communion service" as other than the eucharist; Lk 

22:15-20; 1 Cor 11]. Custer, James. Gr/ 6 No 2,403-410 Fall 1985 


Aquinas, Luther, Melanchthon, and biblical apologetics. Selden, Jonathan. GTJ 5 No 

2,181-195 Fall 1984 
Luther on life without dichotomy. McGoldrick, James E. GTJ 5 No 1,3-1 1 Spr 1984 
Martin Luther's christological hermeneutics. Dockery, David S. GTJ 4 No 2,189-203 

Fall 1983 


Transformed into His image: a Christian papyrus [Greek text in photo and translitera- 
tion, translation]. Sandy, D Brent. GTJ 2 No 2,227-237 Fall 1981 


Biblical teaching on divorce and remarriage. Ryrie, Charles C. GTJ 3 No 2,177-192 
Fall 1982 


Aquinas, Luther, Melanchthon, and biblical apologetics. Selden, Jonathan. GTJ 5 No 
2,181-195 Fall 1984 


The translation of biblical live and dead metaphors and similes and other idioms. 
Fields, Weston W. G77 2 No 2,191- 204 Fall 1981 


The contributions of John and Charles Wesley to the spread of popular religion. 
Rogal, Samuel J. Gr74 No 2,233-244 Fall 1983 


Evangelicals, redaction criticism, and the current inerrancy crisis. Turner, David L. 
Gry4 No 2,263-288 Fall 1983 


The glory of Christian ministry: an analysis of 2 Corinthians 2:14-4:18. Kent, Homer A, 
Jr. Gr/2 No 2,171-189 Fall 1981 


Contextualization in missions: a biblical and theological appraisal. Engle, Richard W. 

Gry 4 No 1,85-107 Spr 1983 
John R W Stott on social action. Meadors, Gary T. GTJ 1 No 2,129-147 Fall 1980 


Luther on life without dichotomy. McGoldrick, James E. GTJ 5 No 1,3-11 Spr 1984 


The problem of the mustard seed. Sproule, John A. GTJ 1 No 1,37-42 Spr 1980 


A study of "mystery" in the New Testament. Wiley, Galen W. GTJ 6 No 2,349-360 Fall 


Rosh: an ancient land known to Ezekiel. Price, James D. GTJ 6 No 1,67-89 Spr 1985 

INDEX 295 


Theology and art in the narrative of the Ammonite War (2 Samuel 10-12). Lawlor, 
John I. GTJ 3 No 2,193-205 Fall 1982 


The Christian and war: a matter of personal conscience. Plaster, David R. GTJ 6 No 
2,435-455 Fall 1985 


Evangelicals, redaction criticism, and the current inerrancy crisis. Turner, David L. 
GTJ 4 No 2,263-288 Fall 1983 


The Christian and war: a matter of personal conscience. Plaster, David R. GTJ 6 No 
2,435-455 Fall 1985 


The inerrancy debate and the use of scripture in counseling. Hindson, Edward E. GTJ 
3 No 2,207-219 Fall 1982 


Paulus infirmus: the Pauline concept of weakness. Black, David Alan. GTJ 5 No 1,77- 
93 Spr 1984 


Evangelistic praying. Mitchell, Curtis. GTJ 5 No 1,127-133 Spr 1984 

The new covenant and the church. Kent, Homer A, Jr. GTJ 6 No 2,289-298 Fall 1985 

Paul's use of the Old Testament in Romans 9:25-26. Battle, John A. GTJ 2 No 1,115- 

129 Spr 1981 
Romans 7:14-25: Pauline tension in the Christian life. Dockery, David S. GTJ 2 No 

2,239-257 Fall 1981 


Paulus infirmus: the Pauline concept of weakness. Black, David Alan. GTJ 5 No 1,77- 
93 Spr 1984 


Weakness language in Galatians. Black, David Alan. GTJ 4 No 1,15-36 Spr 1983 


The glory of Christian ministry: an analysis of 2 Corinthians 2:14-4:18. Kent, Homer A, 
Jr. GTJ2N0 2,171-189 Fall 1981 


The "poor" in the beatitudes of Matthew [5:3] and Luke [6:20-26]. Meadors, Gary T. 
GT7 6 No 2,305-314 Fall 1985 


Paulus infirmus: the Pauline concept of weakness. Black, David Alan. GTJ 5 No 1,77- 

93 Spr 1984 
Weakness language in Galatians. Black, David Alan. GTJ 4 No 1,15-36 Spr 1983 


Evangehstic praying. Mitchell, Curtis. GTJ 5 No 1,127-133 Spr 1984 


Are seminaries preparing prospective pastors to preach the Word of God? Kurtaneck, 
Nickolas. G77 6 No 2,361-371 Fall 1985 


Luther on life without dichotomy. McGoldrick, James E. GTJ 5 No 1,3-11 Spr 1984 


Project Gramcord: a report. Boyer, James L. GTJ \ No 1,97-99 Spr 1980 



A theology of pseudoprophets: a study in Jeremiah. Manahan, Ronald E. GTJ \ No 
1,77-96 Spr 1980 


The focus of baptism in the New Testament. Averbeck, Richard E. GTJ 2 No 2,265- 
301 Fall 1981 


An interpretive survey: audience reaction quotations in Jeremiah. Manahan, Ronald E. 

GTJ\ No 2,163-183 Fall 1980 
A theology of pseudoprophets: a study in Jeremiah. Manahan, Ronald E. GTJ 1 No 

1,77-96 Spr 1980 


Biblical teaching on divorce and remarriage. Ryrie, Charles C. GTJ 3 No 2,177-192 
Fall 1982 


Restoration and its blessings: a theological analysis of Psalms 51 and 32. Barentsen, 
Jack. Gry5 No 2,247-269 Fall 1984 


Interpretive challenges relating to Habakkuk 2:4b. Zemek, George J. GTJ \ No 1,43-69 
Spr 1980 


Christ's atonement and animal sacrifices in Israel [Ezek 40-48]. Whitcomb, John C. 
G77 6 No 2,201-217 Fall 1985 


The origin and history of the Samaritans. Brindle, Wayne A. GTJ 5 No 1,47-75 Spr 


The origin of the universe ["big bang theory"]. DeYoung, Donald B and Whitcomb, 
John C.GTJl No 2,149-161 Fall 1980 


Bibliotheca Sacra and Darwinism: an analysis of the nineteenth-century conflict between 
science and theology. Hannah, John D. GTJ A No 1,37-58 Spr 1983 


John R W Stott on social action. Meadors, Gary T. GTJ 1 No 2,129-147 Fall 1980 


The translation of biblical live and dead metaphors and similes and other idioms. 
Fields, Weston W. G77 2 No 2,191- 204 Fall 1981 


Restoration and its blessings: a theological analysis of Psalms 51 and 32. Barentsen, 
Jack. GTJ 5^0 2,247-269 Fall 1984 


Ephesians 2:3c a.nd peccatum originale [semiticisms; tables]. Turner, David L. GTJ 1 
No 2,195-219 Fall 1980 


The Christian and war: a matter of personal conscience. Plaster, David R. GTJ 6 No 

2,435-455 Fall 1985 
The ethics of inflation: a biblical critique of the causes and consequences. Larkin, 

WilHamJ. Gry 3 No 1,89-105 Spr 1982 
John R W Stott on social action. Meadors, Gary T. GTJ 1 No 2,129-147 Fall 1980 

INDEX 297 


Aiming the mind: a key to godly living. Zemek, George J. GTJ 5 No 2,205-227 Fall 

The "poor" in the beatitudes of Matthew [5:3] and Luke [6:20-26]. Meadors, Gary T. 

Gry6 No 2,305-314 Fall 1985 


Evangelicals, redaction criticism, and the current inerrancy crisis. Turner, David L. 
Gry4 No 2,263-288 Fall 1983 


John R W Stott on social action. Meadors, Gary T. GTJ 1 No 2,129-147 Fall 1980 


Restoration and its blessings: a theological analysis of Psalms 51 and 32. Barentsen, 
Jack. Gr7 5 No 2,247-269 Fall 1984 


The uniqueness of New Testament church eldership [diag]. Miller, David W. GTJ 6 No 
2,315-327 Fall 1985 


The rich young man in Matthew [tables: Matthew/ Luke agreements against Mark]. 
Thomas, Robert L. Gry3 No 2,235- 260 Fall 1982 


A time to teach. Kent, Homer A, Jr. GTJ 1 No 1,7-17 Spr 1980 


Are seminaries preparing prospective pastors to preach the Word of God? Kurtaneck, 
Nickolas. GTJ 6 No 2,361-371 Fall 1985 


Aquinas, Luther, Melanchthon, and biblical apologetics. Selden, Jonathan. GTJ 5 No 
2,181-195 Fall 1984 


The great tribulation: kept "out of" or "through"? Winfrey, David G. GTJ 3 No 1,3-18 
Spr 82 

Is a posttribulational rapture revealed in Matthew 24? Walvoord, John F. GTJ 6 No 
2,257-266 Fall 1985 

The prophet's watchword: Day of the Lord. Mayhue, Richard L. GTJ 6 No 2,231-246 
Fall 1985 

Robert H Gundry and Revelation 3:10 [partial review of The church and the tribula- 
tion, 1973]. Edgar, Thomas R. Gry/S No 1,19-49 Spr 1982 


Baptism by triune immersion [among Brethren; Matt 28:19]. Plaster, David R. GTJ 6 
No 2,383-390 Fall 1985 


Cornelius Van Til and Romans 1:18-21: a study in the epistemology of presupposi- 
tional apologetics. Turner, David L. G77 2 No 1,45-58 Spr 1981 


The Christian and war: a matter of personal conscience. Plaster, David R. GTJ 6 No 
2,435-455 Fall 1985 


Paulus infirmus: the Pauline concept of weakness. Black, David Alan. GTJ 5 'Ho \,11- 

93 Spr 1984 
Weakness language in Galatians. Black, David Alan. Gr74 No 1,15-36 Spr 1983 



The ethics of inflation: a bibUcal critique of the causes and consequences. Larkin, 
William J. GTJ2 No 1,89-105 Spr 1982 


The contributions of John and Charles Wesley to the spread of popular religion. 
Rogal, Samuel S.GTJA No 2,233-244 Fall 1983 


The contributions of John and Charles Wesley to the spread of popular rehgion. 
Rogal, Samuel i.GTJA No 2,233-244 Fall 1983 


Genesis 1-3 and the male/female role relationship. Stitzinger, Michael F. GTJ 1 No 
1,23-44 Spr 1981 


Bibliotheca Sacra and Darwinism: an analysis of the nineteenth-century conflict between 
science and theology. Hannah, John D. GTJ A No 1,37-58 Spr 1983 


Averbeck, Richard E 

The focus of baptism in the New Testament. GTJ 2 'No 2,265-301 Fall 1981. 

Barentsen, Jack 

Restoration and its blessings: a theological analysis of Psalms 51 and 32. GTJ 5 No 
2,247-269 Fall 1984. 

Battle, John A 

Paul's use of the Old Testament in Romans 9:25-26. G772 No 1,115-129 Spr 1981. 

Black, David Alan 

Paulus infirmus: the Pauline concept of weakness. GTJ 5 No 1,77-93 Spr 1984. 
The peculiarities of Ephesians and the Ephesian address. GTJ 2 No 1,59-73 Spr 1981. 
The text of John 3:13 [table]. GTJ 6 No 1,49-66 Spr 1985. 
Weakness language in Galatians. Gry4 No 1,15-36 Spr 1983. 

Boyer, James L 

Are the seven letters of Revelation 2-3 prophetic? GTJ 6 No 2,267-273 Fall 1985. 

The classification of infinitives: a statistical study [Greek; tables]. GTJ 6 No 1,3-27 Spr 

The classification of participles: a statistical study [Greek; tables]. GTJ 5 No 2,163-179 

Fall 1984. 
First class conditions: what do they mean [appendix of NT examples]. GTJ 2 No 

1,75-114 Spr 1981. 
Other conditional elements in New Testament Greek. GTJ 4No 2,173-188 Fall 1983. 
Project Gramcord: a report. GTJ 1 No 1,97-99 Spr 1980. 
Second class conditions in New Testament Greek. GZy 3 No 1,81-88 Spr 1982. 
Third (and fourth) class conditions [NT Greek grammar]. GTJ 3 No 2,163-175 Fall 


Brindle, Wayne A 

The origin and history of the Samaritans. GTJ 5 No 1,47-75 Spr 1984. 

Clutter, Ronald T 

Herman A Hoyt: a biographical sketch. GTV 6 No 2,181-186 Fall 1985. 

Cohen, Gary G, and Sellers, C Norman 

The case for modern pronunciation of biblical languages. GTJ 5 No 2,197-203 Fall 

INDEX 299 

Coyle, J Timothy 

The agape - eucharist relationship in 1 Corinthians [Brethren churches]. GTJ 6 No 
2,41 1-424 Fall 1985. 

Custer, James 

When is communion communion ["communion service" as other than the eucharist; Lk 
22:15-20; 1 Cor 11]. GTV 6 No 2, 403-410 Fall 1985. 

DeYoung, Donald B and Whitcomb, John C 

The origin of the universe ["big bang theory"]. GTJ 1 No 2,149-161 Fall 1980. 

Dockery, David S 

Martin Luther's christological hermeneutics. GTJ 4 'No 2,189-203 Fall 1983. 
Romans 7:14-25: Pauline tension in the Christian life. GTJl^o 2,239-257 Fall 1981. 

Edgar, Thomas R 

Robert H Gundry and Revelation 3:10 [partial review of The church and the tribula- 
tion, 1973]. GTJ 3 -No 1,19-49 Spr 1982. 

Engle, Richard W 

Contextualization in missions: a biblical and theological appraisal. GTJ 4 No 1,85-107 
Spr 1983. 

Farner, Donald 

The Lord's Supper until he comes [Brethren Churches; 1 Cor 11; Jude 12; 2 Pet 2:13]. 
G776 No 2,391-401 Fall 1985. 

Fields, Weston W 

Early and medieval Jewish interpretation of the Song of Songs. GTJ I No 2,221-231 

Fall 1980. 
"Everyone will be salted with fire" (Mark 9:49) [aX,i^(o = Heb mlh, "destroy"]. GTJ 6 

No 2,299-304 Fall 1985. 
The translation of biblical Uve and dead metaphors and similes and other idioms. GTJ 

2 No 2,191-204 Fall 1981. 

Finley, Thomas J 

The sheep merchants of Zechariah 11. G 7/ 3 No 1,51-65 Spr 1982. 

French, Ivan H 

The man Christ Jesus. G 77 1 No 2,185-194 Fall 1980. 

Gangel, Kenneth O 

Daniel 7: a vision of future world history [four beasts; little horn; Son of Man]. GTJ 6 
No 2,247-256 Fall 1985. 

Geisler, Norman L 

The relation of purpose and meaning in interpreting scripture. GTJ 5 No 2,229-245 
Fall 1984. 

Grier, James M 

The apologetical value of the self-witness of scripture. GTJ 1 No 1,71-76 Spr 1980. 

Hannah, John D 

Bibliotheca Sacra and Darwinism: an analysis of the nineteenth-century conflict between 

science and theology. G77 4 No 1,37-58 Spr 1983. 
Kenneth Scott Latourette, a trail blazer: a critical evaluation of Latourette's theory of 

religious history. (777 2 No 1,1-22 Spr 1981. 

Harton, George M 

An interpretation of Daniel 11:36-45. G 77 4 No 2,205-231 Fall 1983. 

Hindson, Edward E 

The inerrancy debate and the use of scripture in counseling. GTJ 3 No 2,207-219 Fall 


Howard, Tracy L 

The meaning of "sleep" in 1 Thess 5:10: a reappraisal [diag]. GTJ 6 No 2,337-348 Fall 

Hoyt, Herman A 

James L Boyer: a biographical sketch. GTJl^o 2,167-170 Fall 1981. 

The purpose and program of the prophetic word. GTJ4 No 2,163-171 Fall 1983. 

Ibach, Robert D, Jr 

The writings of Herman A Hoyt: a select bibliography, 1934-1984. G77 6 No 2,187-199 
Fall 1985. 

Julien, Thomas 

Brethrenism and creeds. GTJ6N0 2,373-381 Fall 1985. 

Kaiser, Walter C, Jr 

The promise of the arrival of Elijah in Malachi and the Gospels. GTJ 3 No 2,221-233 
Fall 1982. 

Kent, Homer A, Jr 

A fresh look at 1 Corinthians 15:34: an appeal for evangelism or a call to purity? (7774 

No 1,3-14 Spr 1983. 
The glory of Christian ministry: an analysis of 2 Corinthians 2:14-4:18. GTJ 2 No 

2,171-189 Fall 1981. 
The new covenant and the church. G77 6 No 2,289-298 Fall 1985. 
A time to teach. GTJ 1 No 1,7-17 Spr 1980. 

Kent, Homer A, Jr, and Whitcomb, John C, eds 

Studies in honor of Herman Arthur Hoyt [por; bibliog]. GTJ 6 No 2,167-455 Fall 

Kurtaneck, Nickolas 

Are seminaries preparing prospective pastors to preach the Word of God? GTJ 6 No 
2,361-371 Fall 1985. 

Larkin, William J 

The ethics of inflation: a biblical critique of the causes and consequences. GTJ 3 No 
1,89-105 Spr 1982. 

Lawlor, John I 

The test of Abraham: Genesis 22:1-19. GTJ \ No 1,19-35 Spr 1980. 
Theology and art in the narrative of the Ammonite War (2 Samuel 10-12). GTJ 3 No 
2,193-205 Fall 1982. 

Manahan, Ronald E 

An interpretive survey: audience reaction quotations in Jeremiah. GTJ 1 No 2,163-183 

Fall 1980. 
A theology of pseudoprophets: a study in Jeremiah. GTJ 1 No 1,77-96 Spr 1980. 

Mattingly, Gerald L 

The exodus-conquest and the archaeology of Transjordan: new light on an old problem. 
GTJ 4 No 2,245-262 Fall 1983. 

Mayhue, Richard L 

The prophet's watchword: Day of the Lord. GTJ 6^0 2,231-246 Fall 1985. 

McGoldrick, James E 

Luther on life without dichotomy. GTJ 5 No 1,3-11 Spr 1984. 

Meadors, Gary T 

John R W Stott on social action. GTJ 1 No 2,129-147 Fall 1980. 
The "poor" in the beatitudes of Matthew [5:3] and Luke [6:20-26]. GTJ 6 No 2,305-314 
Fall 1985. 

INDEX 301 

Merrill, Eugene H 

Palestinian archaeology and the date of the conquest: do tells tell tales? GTJ 3 No 
1,107-121 Spr 1982. 

Miller, David W 

The uniqueness of New Testament church eldership [diag]. GTJ b No 2,315-327 Fall 

Mitchell, Curtis 

Evangelistic praying. G77 5 No 1,127-133 Spr 1984. 

Newman, Robert C 

The ancient exegesis of Genesis 6:2,4. GTJ 5 No 1,13-36 Spr 1984. 

Overstreet, R Larry 

Difficulties of New Testament genealogies. GTJ 2^o 2,303-326 Fall 1981. 

Patterson, Richard D 

A multiplex approach to Psalm 45. GTJ 6 'No 1,29-48 Spr 1985. 

Plaster, David R 

Baptism by triune immersion [among Brethren; Matt 28:19]. GTJ 6 No 2,383-390 Fall 

The Christian and war: a matter of personal conscience. GTJ 6 No 2,435-455 Fall 


Price, James D 

Rosh: an ancient land known to Ezekiel. GTJ 6 No 1,67-89 Spr 1985. 

Rogal, Samuel J 

The contributions of John and Charles Wesley to the spread of popular religion. GTJ 4 
No 2,233-244 Fall 1983. 

Rosscup, James £ 

The "overcomer" of the Apocalypse. GTJ 3 No 2,261-286 Fall 1982. 

Ryrie, Charles C 

Biblical teaching on divorce and remarriage. GTJ 3 No 2,177-192 Fall 1982. 

Sandy, D Brent 

Transformed into His image: a Christian papyrus [Greek text in photo and translitera- 
tion, translation]. Gry2 No 2, 227-237 Fall 1981. 

Selden, Jonathan 

Aquinas, Luther, Melanchthon, and biblical apologetics. GTJ 5 No 2,181-195 Fall 

Smith, Charles R 

The book of life [in OT and NT]. GTJ 6 No 2,219-230 Fall 1985. 

Errant aorist interpreters [Greek language]. GTJ 2 No 2,205-226 Fall 1981. 

Smith, Charles R, ed 

Studies in honor of James LBoyer. GT/ 2 No 2,163-339 Fall 1981. 

Sproule, John A 

Trapaneaovtaq in Hebrews 6:6 [participle; fig]. GTJ 2 No 2,327-332 Fall 1981. 
The problem of the mustard seed. GTJ 1 No 1,37-42 Spr 1980. 

Stitzinger, Michael F 

Genesis 1-3 and the male/female role relationship. GTJ2 No 1,23-44 Spr 1981. 

Thomas, Robert L 

The rich young man in Matthew [tables: Matthew/ Luke agreements against Mark]. 
GTJ 3 No 2,235-260 Fall 1982. 


Toussaint, Stanley D 

The eschatology of the warning passages in the Book of Hebrews. GTJ 3 No 1,67-80 
Spr 1982. 

Turner, David L 

The continuity of scripture and eschatology: key hermeneutical issues. G 77 6 No 2,275- 

287 Fall 1985. 
Cornelius Van Til and Romans 1:18-21: a study in the epistemology of presupposi- 

tional apologetics. GTJ 2^o 1,45-58 Spr 1981. 
Ephesians 2:3c and peccatum originale [semiticisms; tables]. GTJ 1 No 2,195-219 Fall 

Evangelicals, redaction criticism, and inerrancy: the debate continues. GTJ 5 No 1,37- 

45 Spr 1984. 
Evangelicals, redaction criticism, and the current inerrancy crisis. Gry4 No 2,263-288 

Fall 1983. 

Wallace, Daniel B 

The semantic range of the article-noun-Kai-noun plural construction in the New 

Testament [figs]. Gry4 No 1,59- 84 Spr 1983. 
The semantics and exegetical significance of the object - complement construction in 

the New Testament. G77 6No 1, 91-112 Spr 1985. 

Walvoord, John F 

Is a posttribulational rapture revealed in Matthew 24? GTJ6^o 2,257-266 Fall 1985. 

Whitcomb, John C 

Christ's atonement and animal sacrifices in Israel [Ezek 40-48]. GTJ 6 No 2,201-217 

Fall 1985. 
Daniel's great seventy-weeks prophecy: an exegetical insight. GTJl^o 2,259-263 Fall 

Editorial [origin and purpose]. GTJ I No 1,3-5 Spr 1980. 

Wiley, Galen W 

A study of "mystery" in the New Testament. GTJ 6 No 2,349-360 Fall 1985. 

Winfrey, David G 

The great tribulation: kept "out of" or "through"? GTJ 3 No 1,3-18 Spr 82. 

Young, Jerry R 

Shepherds, lead [pastor's role]. GTJ 6 No 2,329-335 Fall 1985. 

Zapf, David L 

How are the mighty fallen: a study of 2 Samuel 1:17-27 [appendix: structural diagram 
of 2 Sam 1:19-27]. GTJ 5 No 1, 95-126 Spr 1984. 

Zemek, George J 

Aiming the mind: a key to godly living. GTJ 5 No 2,205-227 Fall 1984. 
Interpretive challenges relating to Habakkuk 2:4b. GTJ I No 1,43-69 Spr 1980. 


Aalders, G Charles et al. 

Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers. The Bible Students Commentary; Grand Rapids 
Zondervan, 1981-83. 

Fowler, Donald L. G77 5 No 1,138-39 Spr 84 

Alsop, John R, ed. 

Index To The Revised Bauer- Arndt- Gingrich Greek Lexicon. Zondervan, 1981. 
Wallace, D B. Gry3 No 2,299-300 Fall 82 

INDEX 303 

Askew, Thomas A, and Spellman, Peter W 

The Churches and the American Experience. Baker, 1984. 
Clutter, Ronald T. (777 6 No 1,152-154 Spr 85. 

Banks, Robert 

Paul's Idea of Community. Paternoster, 1979; Eerdmans, 1980. 
Turner, David L. ^77 3 No 1,140-141 Spr 82 

Barber, Cyril J 

Introduction to Theological Research. Chicago, Moody, 1982. 
Ibach, Robert D, Jr. G 77 4 No 1,144-145 Spr 83 

Barber, Cyril J, and Barber, Aldyth A 

You Can Have a Happv Marriage. Grand Rapids, Kregel, 1984. 

Ibach, P. GTJ 5 -No 2,305-307 Fall 84 
Your Marriage Has Real Possibilities: Biblical Principles of Marriage. Grand Rapids, 
Kregel, 1981. 

Ibach, P. GTJ 5 'No 2,305-307 Fall 84 

Barr, James 

Fundamentalism. SCM, 1977; Westminster, 1978. 

Dockery, David S. G772 No 1,146-147 Spr 1981 

Beker, J Christiaan 

Paul the Apostle: The Triumph of God in Life and Thought. Philadelphia, Fortress, 

Dockery, D. S. Gry 5 No 2,299-300 Fall 84 

Berkhof, Hendrikus 

Christian Faith: An Introduction to the Study of the Faith. Eerdmans; T & T Clark, 

Strehle, S. GTJ 2 No 2,340-341 Fall 80 

Billheimer, Paul £ 

Love Covers: A Viable Platform for Christian Unity. Christian Literature Crusade, 

Heldenbrand, D. GTJ 4 No 1,147-148 Spr 83 

Bivin, David, and Blizzard, Roy 

Understanding the Difficult Words of Jesus. Arcadia, California, Makor, 1983. 
Fields, W W. G77 5 No 2,271-288 Fall 84 

Blaiklock, Edward M and Harrison, R K, eds 

New International Dictionary of Biblical Archaeology. Grand Rapids, Zondervan, 

Ibach, Robert. GTJ 6 No 2,459-60 Fall 85 

Bloesch, Donald G 

Essentials of Evangelical Theology, VI. Harper & Row, 1978. 

Dockery, David S. GTJ2 No 1,152-154 Spr 1981 
Essentials of Evangelical Theology, V 2. Harper & Row, 1979. 

Dockery, David S. G772 No 1,152-154 Spr 1981 

Bolich, Gregory G 

Karl Barth and Evangelicalism. InterVarsity, 1980. 

Dockery, David S. GTJ 2 No 2,350-352 Fall 80 

Brand, Paul, and Yancey, Philip 

Fearfully and Wonderfully Made. Zondervan, 1980. 

Whitcomb, John C, and D C. Gry2 No 2,333-339 Fall 80 

Bromiley, Geoffrey W 

Historical Theology: An Introduction. Eerdmans, 1978. 
Dockery, David S. G772 No 1,151-152 Spr 1981 


Bruce, Frederick F 

The Epistle to the Galatians: A Commentary on the Greek Text. Eerdmans; Pater- 
noster, 1982. 

Kent, H A. G77 5 No 2,298-299 Fall 84 
The Gospel of John. Eerdmans, 1983. 

Clutter, Ronald T. 0776 No 1,125-126 Spr 85. 

Bruggen, Jakob van 

The Future Of The Bible. Nelson, 1978. 

Taylor, R A. 0772 No 1,147-151 Spr 1981 

Bush, L Russ and Nettles, Tom J 

Baptists and the Bible. Moody, 1980. 

Dockery, David S. (77/3 No 1,150-151 Spr 82 

Butler, Trent C 

Joshua (Word Biblical Commentary). Word, 1983. 
Klein, GL. 077 6 No 1,1 17-1 18 Spr 85. 

Cannon, William R 

History of Christianity in the Middle Ages; Reprint Ed. Baker, 1983. 
Slusher, David S. G776No 1,154-156 Spr 85. 

Chantry, Walter J 

Today's Gospel: Authentic or Synthetic! Edinburgh/ Carlisle, Pennsylvania, Banner of 
Truth Trust, 1979. 

Zemek, George J. G77 1 No 1,113-1 14 Spr 1980 

Childs, Brevard S 

Introduction to the Old Testament as Scripture. Fortress, 1979. 
Eisenbraun, J E. G 77 1 No 1,104-108 Spr 1980 

Clark, Gordon H 

In Defense of Theology. Milford, Michigan, Mott Media, 1984. 
Clutter, Ronald T. (777 6 No 1,139-140 Spr 85. 

Crabb, Lawrence J, Jr 

Basic Principles of Biblical Counseling. Grand Rapids, Eerdmans, 1975. 

Smith, Charles R. G77 2No 1,138 Spr 81 
Effective Biblical Counseling. Grand Rapids, Eerdmans, 1977. 

Smith, Charles R. G 77 2 No 1,139-41 Spr 81 

Craigie, Peter C 

Psalms 1-50 (Word Biblical Commentary). Word, 1983. 

Patterson, R D. G77 5 No 2,292-294 Fall 84 
Ugarit and the Old Testament. Eerdmans, 1983. 

Schrader, Stephen R. G77 6No 1,1 18-122 Spr 85. 

Cunliffe, Barry 

The Celtic World. New York, McGraw-Hill, 1979 
Fowler, Donald L. G77 1 No 1,113 Spr 1980. 

Davids, Peter H 

The Epistle of James: A Commentary on the Greek Text (New International Greek 
Testament Commentary). Eerdmans, 1982. 
Kent, H A. G774 No 2,310-31 1 Fall 83 

Dillow, Joseph C 

The Waters Above: Earth's Pre-Flood Vapor Canopy. Moody, 1981. 

Whitcomb, John C, and DeYoung, D B. G77 3 No 1,123-132 Spr 82 

Duddy, Neil T 

The God- Men: An Inquiry into Witness Lee and the Local Church. InterVarsity, 1981. 
Beaver, S W. G77 4 No 1,145-146 Spr 83 

INDEX 305 

Dunn, James D G 

Christology in the Making. SCM; Westminster, 1980. 
Dockery, David S. (777 3 No 2,297-299 Fall 82 

Dyrness, William A 

Themes in Old Testament Theologv. InterVarsity, 1979. 
Zemek, George J. GTJ I No 2,234 Fall 1980 

Erickson, Millard J 

Christian Theologv, VI. Baker, 1983. 

Dockery, David S. Gr/S No 2,302-303 Fall 84 

Falwell, Jerry, ed. 

The Fundamentalist Phenomenon. Doubleday, 1981. 
Smith, Charles R. (7ry3 No 1,133-137 Spr 82 

Fee, Gordon D 

New Testament Exegesis: A Handbook for Students and Pastors. Westminster, 1983. 
Turner, David L. Gry6 No 1,126-129 Spr 85. 

Fee, Gordon D, and Stuart, Douglas K 

How to Read the Bible for All It's Worth: A Guide to Understanding the Bible. 
Zondervan, 1981. 

Turner, David L. 077 5 No 1,134-135 Spr 84 

Finegan, Jack 

The Archaeology of the New Testament: The Mediterranean World of the Early Chris- 
tian Apostles. London, Croom Helm, 1981. 

Ibach, Robert D, Jr. 0774 No 1,131-132 Spr 83 

Friesen, Garry 

Decision Making and the Will of God. Portland, Oregon, Multnomah, 1980. 
Smith, Charles R. GTJA^o 1,127-130 Spr 83 

Fry, C George, and King, James R 

Islam: A Survev of the Muslim Faith. Baker, 1980. 
Plastow', F. GTJ 1^0 1,143-146 Spr 82 

Gaffin, Richard B 

Perspectives on Pentecost. Presbyterian and Reformed, 1979. 
Smith, Charles R. 07/ 2 No 1,154-156 Spr 1981 

Geisler, Norman L, and Feinberg, Paul D 

Introduction to Philosophy: A Christian Perspective. Baker, 1980. 
Grier, J M. 077 3 No 1,139 Spr 82 

Girdlestone, Robert 

Synonyms of the Old Testament; 3d ed by Donald R White. Baker, 1983. 
Patterson, R D. 077 5 No 2,289-290 Fall 84 

Gundry, Stanley N, and Johnson, Alan F 

Tensions in Contemporary Theology; 2d ed. Baker, 1983. 
Habermas, Gary R. 077 6 No 1,140-142 Spr 85. 

Guthrie, Donald 

New Testament Theology. InterVarsity, 1981. 

Dockery, David S. 0774 No 1,149 Spr 83 
The Letter to the Hebrews (Tyndale New Testament Commentary). InterVarsity, 1983. 

Freerksen, J A. 077 5 No 2,301-302 Fall 84 

Hanna, Mark 

Crucial Questions in Apologetics. Baker, 1981. 
Grier, J M. 077 3 No 1,138-139 Spr 82 


Harrison, R K 

Leviticus: An Introduction and Commentary. InterVarsity, 1980. 
Averbeck, RE. G77 5 No 1,139-141 Spr 84 

Hasker, William 

Metaphysics: Constructing a World View. InterVarsity, 1983. 
Habermas, Gary R. G77 6 No 1,142-144 Spr 85. 

Hendriksen, William 

New Testament Commentary: Exposition of Paul's Epistle to the Romans. Baker, 

Turner, David L.GTJ2 No 2,347-349 Fall 80 
Turner, David L. GTJ 5 No 1,148-150 Spr 84 

Henrichsen, Walter A 

After the Sacrifice. Zondervan, 1979. 

Sproule, J A. GTJ 1 No 2,239-240 Fall 1980 

Hodges, Zane C and Farstad, Arthur L, eds. 

The Greek New Testament According to the Majority Text. Nelson 1982. 
Wallace, DB. G 7/4 No 1,119-126 Spr 83 

Hooker, Morna D 

A Preface to Paul. New York, Oxford, 1980. 

Turner, David L. Gry 2 No 1,156-58 Spr 81 

House, H Wayne 

Chronological and Background Charts of the New Testament. Zondervan, 1981. 
Wallace, DB.Gry5Nol,150-152Spr84 

Hughes, Gerald and Travis, Steven 

Harper's Introduction to the Bible. New York, Harper, 1981. 
Patterson, Richard D. G77 6 No 1,113-16 Spr 85 

Hummel, Horace D 

The Word Becoming Flesh. Concordia, 1979. 

Fowler, Donald L. Gry 5 No 1,136-138 Spr 84 

Kiisemann, Ernst 

Commentary on Romans; tr by Geoffrey W Bromiley. SCM; Eerdmans, 1980. 
Turner, David L. GTJ 2 No 2,343-345 Fall 80 

Kenyon, Kathleen M 

The Bible and Recent Archaeology. London, British Mus Pubs, and Knox, 1978. 
Ibach, Robert D, Jr. Gry 1 No 1,103-104 Spr 1980 

Kilpatrick, William K 

Psychological Seduction: The Failure of Modern Psychology. Nashville, Thomas 
Nelson, 1983. 

Craigen, Trevor. G7y6No 1,156-159 Spr 85. 

Kingsbury, Jack D 

The Chris tology of Mark's Gospel. Fortress, 1983. 

Howard, Tracy L. Gry 6 No 1,129-133 Spr 85. 

Kroll, Woodrow M 

Prescription for Preaching. Baker, 1980. 

Fink, P R. Gry3 No 1,146-149 Spr 82 

Liefeld, Walter L 

New Testament Exposition. Zondervan, 1984. 

Howard, Tracy L. G776 No 1,134-135 Spr 85. 

INDEX 307 

Lindsell, Harold 

The Bible in the Balance. Zondervan, 1979. 

Sproule, J A. GTJ \ No 1,114-116 Spr 1980 

Litfin, A Duane and Robinson, Haddon W, eds. 

Recent Homiletical Thought: An Annotated Bibliography, V 2 (1966-1979). Baker, 

Overstreet, R L. (777 5 No 2,304-305 Fall 84 

Lloyd-Jones, D Martyn 

Christian Unity: An Exposition of Ephesians 4:1-16. Baker, 1981. 
Turner, David L. GTJ A^o 1,139-140 Spr 83 

Lovelace, Richard F 

Dynamics of Spiritual Life: An Evangelical Theology of Renewal. InterVarsity, 1979. 

Dockery, David S. GTJl'Ho 2,345-347 Fall 80 
The American Pietism of Cotton Mather. Eerdmans, 1979. 

Dockery, David S. GTV 2 No 2,341-343 Fall 80 

Mansoor, Menahem 

The Dead Sea Scrolls; 2d ed. Baker, 1983. 

Patterson, R D. G77 5 No 2,295-296 Fall 84 

Mare, W Harold 

Mastering New Testament Greek. Grand Rapids, Baker, 1979 reprint. 
Sproule, John A. GTJ 1 No 2,235-36 Fall 80 

Marsden, George M 

Fundamentalism and American Culture. New York, Oxford University, 1980. 
Dockery, David S. G 77 4 No 2,311-312 Fall 83 

Marshall, I Howard 

The Acts of the Apostles: An Introduction and Commentary. Downer's Grove, Inter- 
Varsity, 1980. 

Forbes, S. GTJ 5 No 1,145-148 Spr 84 

Martin, Ralph P 

Reconciliation: A Study of Paul's Theology. Atlanta, John Knox, 1981. 

Dockery, David S. G77 5 No 2,300-301 Fall 84 
The Worship of God: Some Theological, Pastoral, and Practical Reflections. Grand 
Rapids, Eerdmans, 1982. 

Dockery, David S. G7y6 No 2,460-461 Fall 1985. 

Mayor, James P 

The Epistle of St. James. Minneapolis, Klock and Klock, 1977 reprint. 
Kent, Homer A., Jr. Gry2 No 1,145-46 Spr 81 

Moore, James R 

The Post- Darwinian Controversies. Cambridge University, 1979. 
Whitcomb, John C. GTJlNo 1,131-137 Spr 1981 

Morris, Henry M 

History of Modern Creationism. San Diego, California: Master, 1984. 
DeYoung, Don. Gry 6 No 2,457-458 Fall 1985. 

Morris, Henry M, and Parker, Gary E 

What is Creation Science? San Diego, Creation-Life Publishers, 1982. 
Whitcomb, John C. Gry 4 No 1,109-117 Spr 83 
Whitcomb, John C. Gry 4 No 2,289-296 Fall 83 

Morris, Leon 

Testaments of Love: A Study of Love in the Bible. Grand Rapids, Eerdmans, 1981. 
Zemek, George J. GJy 3 No 2,289-292 Fall 82 


Motyer, Alec 

The Message of Philippians: Jesus our Joy. Downer's Grove, InterVarsity, 1984. 
Black, David A. Gry6 No 1,135-137 Spr 85. 

Nash, Ronald H 

The Word of God and the Mind of Man: The Crisis of Revealed Truth in Con- 
temporary Theology. Grand Rapids, Zondervan, 1983. 
Dockery, David S. GTJeNo 2,461-462 Fall 1985. 
Johnson, Jerry. G776 No 2,461-462 Fall 1985. 

Needham, David C 

Birthright: Christian, Do You Know Who You Are? Portland, Oregon, Multnomah, 

Smith, Charles R. Gr/ 3 No 2,287-289 Fall 82 

North, Gary 

The Dominion Covenant: Genesis. Tyler, Texas, Inst for Christian Economics, 1982. 
Smith, Charles R. Gry4 No 1,136-139 Spr 83 

Osborne, Grant R and Woodward, Stephen B 

Handbook for Bible Study. Grand Rapids, Baker, 1979. 
Turner, David L. Gry6No 1,1 16-17 Spr 85 

Packer, James I, Tenney, Merrill C, and White, 
William, eds. 

The World of the New Testament. Nelson, 1982. 
Sandy, D B. GJ/ 5 No 2,296-297 Fall 84 

Pickering, Wilbur N 

The Identity of the New Testament Text. Nashville, Nelson, 1977. 
Sproule, J A. GTJ 1 No 1,109-1 13 Spr 1980 

Pinnock, Clark H 

Reason Enough: A Case for the Christian Faith. Downer's Grove, InterVarsity, 1980. 
Whitcomb, John C. G77 2 No 1,143-145 Spr 1981 

Priest, James E 

Governmental and Judicial Ethics in the Bible and Rabbinic Literature. New York, 
Ktav, 1980. 

Forbes, WM. Gry4No 1,140-144 Spr 83 

Redman, Charles R 

The Rise of Civilization from Early Farmers to Urban Society in the Ancient Near 
East. San Francisco, W. H. Freeman, 1978. 

Fowler, Donald L. GTJ 1 No 2,233-34 Fall 80 

Richards, Lawrence O and Johnson, Paul 

Death and the Caring Community. Portland, Multnomah, 1980. 
Smith, Charles R. Gr/3No 1,152 Spr 82 

Roberts, Robert C 

Spirituality and Human Emotion. Paternoster; Eerdmans, 1982. 
Smith, Charles R. Gry 6 No 1,144-145 Spr 85. 

Robinson, Haddon W 

Biblical Preaching. Baker, 1980. 

Fink, PR. Gry 3 No 1,149-150 Spr 82 

Rudnick, Mihon L 

Christian Ethics for Today. Baker, 1979. 

Forbes, WM. Gry 2 No 1,141-143 Spr 1981 

Sailhamer, John 

First and Second Chronicles (Everyman's Bible Commentary). Chicago, Moody, 1983. 
Patterson, R D. Gry 5 No 2,294-295 Fall 84 

INDEX 309 

Saporetti, Claudio 

The Status of Women in the Middle Assyrian Period; tr by Beatrice B Jordan. Malibu, 
CA, Undena, 1979. 

Fowler, Donald L. GTJ 1 No 1,108-109 Spr 1980 

Sawatsky, Walter 

Soviet Evangelicals since World War II. Herald, 1981. 
Fowler, Donald L. G 77 5 No 1,154-156 Spr 84 

Schaeffer, Francis A 

A Christian Manifesto. Crossway, 1981. 

Forbes, W M. GTJ A No 2,303-309 Fall 83 

Sell, Alan P F 

The Great Debate: Calvinism, Arminianism, and Salvation. H E Walter Ltd, 1982; 
Baker, 1983. 

Smith, Charles R. GTJS^o 1,153-154 Spr 84 

Simon, Marcel 

Jewish Sects at the Time of Jesus. Philadelphia, Fortress, 1980 reprint. 
Turner, David L. (777 5 No 1,144-45 Spr 84 

Snyder, John 

Reincarnation vs Resurrection. Chicago: Moody, 1984. 
Whitcomb, John C. GTJ 6 No 1,145-148 Spr 85. 

Soulen, Richard N 

Handbook of Biblical Criticism; 2d, rev ed. John Knox, 1981. 
Turner, David L. ^774 No 1,132-133 Spr 83 

Stabbert, Bruce 

The Team Concept. Tacoma, Washington, Hegg Publishing, 1982. 
Felder, Steven C. Gry6 No 1,159-160 Spr 85. 

Stock, Eugene 

Practical Truths from the Pastoral Epistles. Grand Rapids, Kregel, 1983. 
Mayhue, Richard. G 77 6 No 1,137-139 Spr 85. 

Thiselton, Anthony C 

The Two Horizons: New Testament Hermeneutics and Philosophical Description. 
Paternoster, 1980. 

Dockery, David S. GTJ A No 1,133-136 Spr 83 

Thompson, J A 

The Book of Jeremiah (NICOT). Paternoster; Eerdmans, 1980. 
Manahan, R E. GTJ 5^o 1,141-144 Spr 84 

Toon, Peter 

The Development of Doctrine in the Church. Eerdmans, 1979. 
Fields, W W. G77 3 No 2,292-295 Fall 82 

Vaughan, Curtis and Gideon, Virtus £ 

A Greek Grammar of the New Testament. Broadman, 1979. 
Fields, W W. Gry 1 No 2,236-239 Fall 1980 

Virkler, Henry A 

Hermeneutics: Principles and Processes of Biblical Interpretation. Baker, 1981. 
Howard, Tracy L. Gr73 No 1,141-142 Spr 82 

Wells, David F 

The Search for Salvation. InterVarsity, 1978. 

Dockery, David S. Gr7 3 No 2,296-297 Fall 82 

Wenham, Gordon J 

The Book of Leviticus (New International Commentary). Eerdmans, 1979. 
Fowler, Donald L. G 77 1 No 1,101-103 Spr 1980 


Wilson, Dwight 

Armageddon Now: the Premillenarian Response to Russia and Israel since 1917. Baker, 

Fowler, Donald L. Gr/ 1 No 1,116-117 Spr 1980 

Wolfe, David L 

Epistemology: The Justification of Belief . InterVarsity, 1982. 
Grier, JM. G77 5No 1,152-153 Spr 84 

Woodbridge, John D 

Biblical Authority: A Critique of the Rogers and McKim Proposal. Zondervan, 1982. 
Zemek, George J. GTJ6'No 1,148-152 Spr 85. 

Woodbridge, John D; Noll, Mark A; Hatch, Nathan O 

The Gospel in America. Zondervan, 1979. 

Dockery, David S. Gry2 No 2,349-350 Fall 80 

Young, Davis A 

Christianity and the Age of the Earth. Zondervan, 1982. 
DeYoung, D B. G774 No 2,297-301 Fall 83 

Youngblood, Ronald F 

Exodus (Everyman's Bible Commentary). Chicago, Moody, 1983. 
Fowler, Donald L. GTJ 5 No 2,290-292 Fall 84 
Fowler, Donald L. GTV 6 No 1,122-124 Spr 85. 


Averbeck, R E 

Harrison, R K. Leviticus: An Introduction and Commentary. InterVarsity, 1980. GTJ 

5 No 1,139-141 Spr 84 

Beaver, S W 

Duddy, Neil T. The God- Men: An Inquiry into Witness Lee and the Local Church. 
InterVarsity, 1981. GTJ A No 1, 145-146 Spr 83 

Black, David A 

Motyer, Alec. The Message of Philippians: Jesus our Joy. InterVarsity, 1984. GTJ b 
No 1,135-137 Spr 85. 

Clutter, Ronald T 

Askew, Thomas A, and Spellman, Peter W. The Churches and the American Experi- 
ence. Baker, 1984. 260P. G77 6 No 1,152-154 Spr 85. 
Bruce, Frederick F. The Gospel of John. Eerdmans, 1983. GTJ 6 'No 1,125-126 Spr 85. 
Clark, Gordon H. In Defense of Theology. Milford, Michigan, Mott Media, 1984. GTJ 

6 No 1,139-140 Spr 85. 

Craigen, Trevor 

Kilpatrick, William K. Psychological Seduction: The Failure of Modern Psychology. 
Nashville, Thomas Nelson, 1983. GTJ 6No 1,156-159 Spr 85. 

DeYoung, D B 

Morris, Henry M. History of Modern Creationism. San Diego, California: Master, 

1984. GTJ 6 'No 2, 457-458 Fall 1985. 
Young, Davis A. Christianity and the Age of the Earth. Zondervan, 1982. GTJ 4 No 

2,297-301 Fall 83 

Dockery, David S 

Barr, James. Fundamentalism. SCM, 1977; Westminster, 1978. GTJ 2 No 1,146-147 

Spr 1981 
Beker, J. Christiaan. Paul the Apostle: The Triumph of God in Life and Thought. 

Fortress, 1980. GTJ 5 No 2,299-300 Fall 84. 


Bloesch, Donald G. Essentials of Evangelical Theology, V I. Harper & Row, 1978. 

(777 2 No 1,152-154 Spr 1981 
Bloesch, Donald G. Essentials of Evangelical Theology, V 2. Harper & Row, 1979. 

(7772 No 1,152-154 Spr 1981 
Bolich, Gregory G. Karl Barth and Evangelicalism. InterVarsity, 1980. GTJ 2 'Ho 

2,350-352 Fall 80 
Bromiley, Geoffrey W. Historical Theology: An Introduction. Eerdmans, 1978. GTJ 2 

No 1,151-152 Spr 1981 
Bush, L Russ and Nettles, Tom J. Baptists and the Bible. Moody, 1980. GTJ 3 No 

1,150-151 Spr 82 
Dunn, James D G. Christology in the Making. SCM; Westminster, 1980. GTJ 3 No 

2,297-299 Fall 82 
Erickson, Millard J. Christian Theology, VI. Baker, 1983. GTJ 5 No 2,302-303 Fall 84 
Guthrie, Donald. New Testament Theology. InterVarsity, 1981. G774 No 1,149 Spr 83 
Lovelace, Richard F. Dynamics of Spiritual Life: An Evangelical Theology of Renewal. 

InterVarsity, 1979. GTJ 2 No 2,345-347 Fall 80 
Lovelace, Richard F. The American Pietism of Cotton Mather. Eerdmans, 1979. GTJ 

2 No 2,341-343 Fall 80 
Marsden, George M. Fundamentalism and American Culture. Oxford University, 1980. 

Gry4 No 2,311-312 Fall 83 
Martin, Ralph P. Reconciliation: A Study of Paul's Theology. John Knox, 1981. GTJ 

5 No 2,300-301 Fall 84 
Martin, Ralph P. The Worship of God: Some Theological, Pastoral, and Practical 

Reflections. Eerdmans, 1982. GTJ 6 No 2,460-461 Fall 1985. 
Nash, Ronald H. The Word of God and the Mind of Man: The Crisis of Revealed 

Truth in Contemporary Theology. Zondervan, 1983. GTJ 6 No 2,461-462 Fall 

Thiselton, Anthony C. The Two Horizons: New Testament Hermeneutics and Philo- 
sophical Description. Paternoster, 1980. G 77 4 No 1,133-136 Spr 83 
Wells, David F. The Search for Salvation. InterVarsity, 1978. G77 3 No 2,296-297 Fall 

Woodbridge, John D; Noll, Mark A; Hatch, Nathan O. The Gospel in America. 

Zondervan, 1979. GTJ 2 No 2,349-350 Fall 80 

Eisenbraun, J £ 

Childs, Brevard S. Introduction to the Old Testament as Scripture. Fortress, 1979. 
GTJ I No 1,104-108 Spr 1980 

Felder, Steven C 

Stabbert, Bruce. The Team Concept. Tacoma, Washington, Hegg Publishing, 1982. 
GTJeNo 1,159-160 Spr 85 

Fields, W W 

Bivin, David, and Blizzard, Roy. Understanding the Difficult Words of Jesus. Arcadia, 

California, Makor, 1983. GTJ 5 No 2,271-288 Fall 84 
Toon, Peter. The Development of Doctrine in the Church. Eerdmans, 1979. GTJ 3 No 

2,292-295 Fall 82 
Vaughan, Curtis and Gideon, Virtus E. A Greek Grammar of the New Testament. 

Broadman, 1979. GTJ 1 No 2,236-239 Fall 1980 

Fink, P R 

Kroll, Woodrow M. Prescription for Preaching. Baker, 1980. Gry3 No 1,146-149 Spr 

Robinson, Haddon W. Biblical Preaching. Baker, 1980. G77 3 No 1,149-150 Spr 82 

Forbes, W M 

Marshall, I Howard. The Acts of the Apostles: An Introduction and Commentary. 
InterVarsity, 1980. GTJ 5 No 1,145-148 Spr 84 

Priest, James E. Governmental and Judicial Ethics in the Bible and Rabbinic Litera- 
ture. New York, Ktav, 1980. Gr7 4 No 1,140-144 Spr 83 

Rudnick, Mihon L. Christian Ethics for Today. Baker, 1979. GTJ2No 1,141-143 Spr 


Schaeffer, Francis A. A Christian Manifesto. Crossway, 198L GTJ A No 2,303- 309 
Fall 83 

Fowler, Donald L 

Aalders, G. Charles, et al. Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers. The Bible Student's 

Commentary; Grand Rapids, Zondervan, 1981-83. GTJ 5 "No 1,138-39 Spr 84 
Cunliffe, Barry. The Celtic World. New York, McGraw-Hill, 1979. GTJ 1 No 1,113 

Fall 80 
Hummel, Horace D. The Word Becoming Flesh. Concordia, 1979. GTJ 5 No 1,136- 

138 Spr 84 
Redman, Charles L. The Rise of Civilization from Early Farmers to Urban Society in 

the Ancient Near East. San Francisco, W. H. Freeman, 1978. GTJ 2 No 1,233-34 

Fall 80 
Saporetti, Claudio. The Status of Women in the Middle Assyrian Period. Malibu, CA, 

Undena, 1979. GTJ 1 No 1,108-9 Spr 80 
Sawatsky, Walter. Soviet Evangelicals since World War II. Herald, 1981. GTJ 5 No 

1,154-156 Spr 84 
Wenham, Gordon J. The Book of Leviticus (New International Commentary). Eerd- 

mans, 1979. GTJ 1 No 1,101-103 Spr 1980 
Wilson, Dwight. Armageddon Now: the Premillenarian Response to Russia and Israel 

since 1917. Baker, 1977. Gr/ 1 No 1,1 16-117 Spr 1980 
Youngblood, Ronald F. Exodus (Everyman's Bible Commentary). Chicago, Moody, 

1983. GTJ 5 No 2,290-292 Fall 84 

Freerksen, J A 

Guthrie, Donald. The Letter to the Hebrews (Tyndale New Testament Commentary). 
InterVarsity, 1983. Gry5 No 2,301-302 Fall 84 

Grier, J M 

Geisler, Norman L, and Feinberg, Paul D. Introduction to Philosophy: A Christian 

Perspective. Baker, 1980. Gry 3 No 1,139 Spr 82 
Hanna, Mark. Crucial Questions in Apologetics. Baker, 1981. Crj 3 No 1,138-139 Spr 

Wolfe, David L. Epistemology: The Justification of Belief . InterVarsity, 1982. GTJ 5 

No 1,152-153 Spr 84 

Habermas, Gary R 

Gundry, Stanley N, and Johnson, Alan F. Tensions in Contemporary Theology; 2d ed. 

Baker, 1983. 478P. Gr76 No 1,140-142 Spr 85 
Hasker, William. Metaphysics: Constructing a World View. InterVarsity, 1983. GTJ d 

No 1,142-144 Spr 85 

Heldenbrand, D 

Billheimer, Paul E. Love Covers: A Viable Platform for Christian Unity. Christian 
Literature Crusade, 1981. GTJ A No 1,147-148 Spr 83 

Howard, Tracy L 

Kingsbury, Jack D. The Christology of Mark's Gospel. Fortress, 1983. GTJ 6 No 

1,129-133 Spr 85 
Liefeld, Walter L. New Testament Exposition. Zondervan, 1984. GTJ 6 No 1,134-135 

Spr 85 
Virkler, Henry A. Hermeneutics: Principles and Processes of Biblical Interpretation. 

Baker, 1981. GTJZ No 1,141-142 Spr 82 

Ibach, P 

Barber, Cyril J, and Barber, Aldyth A. You Can Have a Happy Marriage. Grand 

Rapids, Kregel, 1984. GTJ 5 No 2,305- 307 Fall 84 
Barber, Cyril J, and Barber, Aldyth A. Your Marriage Has Real Possibilities: Biblical 

Principles of Marriage. Grand Rapids, Kregel, 1981. G 77 5 No 2,305-307 Fall 84 

Ibach, Robert D, Jr 

Barber, Cyril J. Introduction to Theological Research. Chicago, Moody, 1982. GTJ 4 
No 1,144-145 Spr 83 


Finegan, Jack. The Archaeology of the New Testament: The Mediterranean World of 

the Early Christian Apostles. London, Croom Helm, 1981. G7/4 No 1,131-132 

Kenyon, Kathleen M. The Bible and Recent Archaeology. London, British Mus Pubs, 

and Knox, 1978. GTJ 1 No 1,103- 104 Spr 1980 
The New International Dictionary of Biblical Archaeology. Blaiklock, E M, and 

Harrison, R K, eds. Zondervan, 1983. GTJ 6 No 2,459-460 Fall 1985 

Johnson, Jerry and Dockery, David S. 

Nash, Ronald H. The Word of God and the Mind of Man: The Crisis of Revealed 
Truth in Contemporary Theology. Zondervan, 1983. GTJ 6 No 2,461-462 Fall 

Kent, H A 

Bruce, Frederick F. The Epistle to the Galatians: A Commentary on the Greek Text. 

Eerdmans; Paternoster, 1982. GTJ 5No 2,298-299 Fall 84 
Davids, Peter H. The Epistle of James: A Commentary on the Greek Text (New 

International Greek Testament Commentary). Eerdmans, 1982. GTJ A No 2,310- 

311 Fall 83 
Mayor, Joseph B. The Epistle of James. Minneapolis, Klock and Klock, 1977 reprint. 

GTJ 2^0 1,145-46 Spr 81. 

Klein, G L 

Butler, Trent C. Joshua (Word Biblical Commentary). Word, 1983. GTJ 6 No 1,117- 
118 Spr 85. 

Manahan, R E 

Thompson, J A. The Book of Jeremiah (NICOT). Paternoster; Eerdmans, 1980. GTJ 5 
No 1,141-144 Spr 84 

Mayhue, Richard 

Stock, Eugene. Practical Truths from the Pastoral Epistles. Grand Rapids, Michigan: 
Kregel, 1983. (7776 No 1,137-139 Spr 85 

Overstreet, R L 

Recent Homiletical Thought: An Annotated Bibliography, V 2 (1966-1979). Ed bv 
A Duane Litfin and Haddon W Robinson. Baker, 1983. GTJ 5 No 2,304-305 Fall 

Patterson, R D 

Craigie, Peter C. Psalms 1-50 (Word Biblical Commentary). Word, 1983. GTJ 5 No 

2,292-294 Fall 84 
Girdlestone, Robert. Synonyms of the Old Testament; 3d ed by Donald R White. 

Baker, 1983. G77 5 No 2, 289-290 Fall 84 
Hughes, Gerald, and Travis, Steven. Harper's Introduction to the Bible. New York, 

Harper, 1981. Gry 6 No 1,113-16 Spr 85. 
Mansoor, Menahem. The Dead Sea Scrolls; 2d ed. Baker, 1983. GTJ 5 No 2,295-296 

Fall 84 
Sailhamer, John. First and Second Chronicles (Everyman's Bible Commentary). 

Chicago, Moody, 1983. GTJ 5 No 2,294- 295 Fall 84 

Plastow, F 

Fry, C George, and King, James R. Islam: A Survey of the Muslim Faith. Baker, 1980. 
G77 3 No 1,143-146 Spr 82 

Sandy, D B 

The World of the New Testament. Ed by James I Packer, Merrill C Tenney, and 
WiUiam White. Nashville, Thomas Nelson, 1982. Gry 5 No 2,296-297 Fall 84 

Schrader, Stephen R 

Craigie, Peter C. Ugarit and the Old Testament. Eerdmans, 1983. GTJ 6 No 1,1 18-122 
Spr 85 


Slusher, David S 

Cannon, William R. History of Christianity in the Middle Ages; reprint, Baker, 1983. 
cry 6 No 1,154-156 Spr 85 

Smith, Charles R 

Crabb, Lawrence J. Jr. Basic Principles of Biblical Counseling. Grand Rapids, Eerd- 

mans, 1975. Gry2 No 1,138 Spr 81 
Crabb, Lawrence J. Jr. Effective Biblical Counseling. Grand Rapids, Eerdmans, 1977. 

GTJlNo 1,139-41 Spr 81 
Friesen, Garry. Decision Making and the Will of God. Portland, Oregon, Multnomah, 

1980. GTJ4 No 1,127-130 Spr 83 

The Fundamentalist Phenomenon. Ed by Jerry Falwell. Doubleday, 1981. GTJ 3 No 
1,133-137 Spr 82 

Gaffin, Richard B. Perspectives on Pentecost. Presbyterian and Reformed, 1979. GTJ 
2 No 1,154-156 Spr 1981 

Needham, David C. Birthright: Christian, Do You Know Who You Are? Portland, 
Oregon, Multnomah, 1979. GTJ^ No 2, 287-289 Fall 82 

North, Gary. The Dominion Covenant: Genesis. Tyler, Texas, Inst for Christian Eco- 
nomics, 1982. G774 No 1,136- 139 Spr 83 

Richards, Lawrence O and Johnson, Paul. Death and the Caring Community. Port- 
land, Multnomah, 1980. Gry 3 No 1, 152 Spr 82 

Roberts, Robert C. Spirituality and Human Emotion. Paternoster; Eerdmans, 1982. 
G776N0 1,144-145 Spr 85 

Sell, Alan P F. The Great Debate: Calvinism, Arminianism, and Salvation. H E Walter 
Ltd, 1982; Baker, 1983. GTJ 5 No 1,153-154 Spr 84 

Sproule, J A 

Henrichsen, Walter A. After the Sacrifice. Zondervan, 1979. GTJ 1 No 2,239-240 Fall 

Lindsell, Harold. The Bible in the Balance. Zondervan, 1979. GTJ 1 No 1,114-116 Spr 

Mare, W. Harold. Mastering New Testament Greek. Grand Rapids, Baker, 1979 

reprint. GTJ 1 No 2,235-36 Fall 80. 
Pickering, Wilbur N. The Identity of the New Testament Text. Nelson, 1977. GTJ I No 

1,109-113 Spr 1980 

Strehle, S 

Berkhof, Hendrikus. Christian Faith: An Introduction to the Study of the Faith. 
Eerdmans; T & T Clark, 1980. GTJ 2 No 2,340-341 Fall 80 

Taylor, R A 

Bruggen, Jakob van. The Future Of The Bible. Nelson, 1978. G772 No 1,147-151 Spr 

Turner, David L 

Banks, Robert. Paul's Idea of Community. Paternoster, 1979; Eerdmans, 1980. GTJ 3 

No 1,140-141 Spr 82 
Fee, Gordon D. New Testament Exegesis: A Handbook for Students and Pastors. 

Westminster, 1983. GTJ 6 No 1,126- 129 Spr 85 
Fee, Gordon D, and Stuart, Douglas K. How to Read the Bible for All It's Worth: A 

Guide to Understanding the Bible. Zondervan, 1981. G 77 5 No 1,134-135 Spr 84 
Hendriksen, William. New Testament Commentary: Exposition of Paul's Epistle to the 

Romans. Baker, 1980. GTJ 2 No 2,347-349 Fall 80 
Hendriksen, William. New Testament Commentary: Exposition of Paul's Epistle to the 

Romans. Baker, 1980. GTJ 5 No 1,148-150 Spr 84 
Hooker, Morna D. A Preface to Paul. New York, Oxford, 1980. GTJ 2 No 1,156-58 

Spr 81 
Kasemann, Ernst. Commentary on Romans; tr by Geoffrey W Bromiley. SCM; Eerd- 
mans, 1980. GJy 2 No 2,343-345 Fall 80 
Lloyd -Jones, D Martyn. Christian Unity: An Exposition of Ephesians 4:1-16. Baker, 

1981. Gry4 No 1, 139-140 Spr 83 


Osborne, Grant R. and Woodward, Stephen B. Handbook for Bible Study. Grand 

Rapids, Baker, 1979. 077 6 No 1,116-17 Spr 85 
Simon, Marcel. Jewish Sects at the Time of Jesus. Philadelphia, Fortress, 1980 reprint. 

G77 5NO 1,144-45 Spr 84 
Soulen, Richard N. Handbook of Biblical Criticism; 2d, rev ed. John Knox, 1981. GTJ 

4 No 1,132-133 Spr 83 

Wallace, D B 

The Greek New Testament According to the Majority Text. Ed by Zane C Hodges and 

Arthur L Farstad. Nelson, 1982. GTJA^o 1,119-126 Spr 83 
House, H Wayne. Chronological and Background Charts of the New Testament. Zon- 

dervan, 1981. GTJ 5^0 1,150-152 Spr 84 
Index To The Revised Bauer- Arndt- Gingrich Greek Lexicon. Ed by John R Alsop. 

Zondervan, 1981. G77 3 No 2,299-300 Fall 82 

Whitcomb, John C 

Moore, James R. The Post- Darwinian Controversies. Cambridge University, 1979. 
GTJlNo 1,131-137 Spr 1981 

Morris, Henry M, and Parker, Gary E. What is Creation Science? San Diego, Creation- 
Life Publishers, 1982. G774NO 1,109-117 Spr 83 

Morris, Henry M, and Parker, Gary E. What is Creation Science? San Diego, Creation- 
Life Publishers, 1982. GTJ 4 No 2,289-296 Fall 83 

Pinnock, Clark H. Reason Enough: A Case for the Christian Faith. InterVarsity, 1980. 
G772NO 1,143-145 Spr 1981 

Snyder, John. Reincarnation vs Resurrection. Chicago: Moody, 1984. GTJ 6 No 1,145- 
148 Spr 85 

Whitcomb, John C, and D C 

Brand, Paul, and Yancey, Philip. Fearfully and Wonderfully Made. Zondervan, 1980. 
cry 2 No 2,333-339 Fall 80 

Whitcomb, John C, and DeYoung, D B 

Dillow, Joseph C. The Waters Above: Earth's Pre- Flood Vapor Canopy. Moody, 
1981. cry 3 No 1,123-132 Spr 82 

Zemek, George J 

Chantry, Walter J. Today's Gospel: Authentic or Synthetic"^ Edinburgh/ Carlisle, Penn- 
sylvania, Banner of Truth Trust, 1979. GTJ \ No 1,113-114 Spr 1980 

Dyrness, William A. Themes in Old Testament Theology. InterVarsity, 1979. GTJ 1 
No 2,234 Fall 1980 

Morris, Leon. Testaments of Love: A Study of Love in the Bible. Eerdmans, 1981. 
Gry3 No 2,289-292 Fall 82 

Woodbridge, John D. Biblical Authority: A Critique of the Rogers and McKim 
Proposal. Zondervan, 1982. GTJ 61^o 1, 148-152 Spr 85 

Edgington, Allen 

Footwashing as an ordinance. GTJ 6 No 2,425-434 Fall 1985 

Co-author not listed alphabetically: 

Whitcomb, John C and DeYoung, Donald B 

The origin of the universe ["big bang theory"]. GTJ 1 No 2,149-161 Fall 1980 

Co-reviewer not listed alphabetically: 

DeYoung, D B and Whitcomb, John C 

Dillow, Joseph C. The Waters Above: Earth's Pre-Flood Vapor Canopy. Moody, 
1981. GTJ3 No 1,123-132 Spr 1982 



Establishing Children in the Local Church for Christian Living, Gregory A. 

Planting Mission-Minded Churches: Analysis and Evaluation of the Evan- 
gelical Alliance Mission in France, Paul C. Davis. 


Ambassadors for Christ: An Interpretation of 2 Corinthians 5:20, Nord L. 

Armageddon in Revelation 16:16, Drew A. WaUher. 
A Biblical and Theological Understanding of Self-Examination, Mark R. 

A Biblical Model for Penitential Prayer: Daniel 9:3-19, Patrick J. Harris. 
A Biblical Philosophy of Parenting, James D. Folsom. 
Biblical World View and Christ's Lordship, John G. Fahrbach. 
The Christian and the Courts, Mitchell D. Cariaga. 

The Church's Responsibility to Her Youth: Titus 2:4-8, J. Scott Howington. 
The Concept of the Enemy in the Book of Proverbs, Charles E. McGinnis. 
Conceptions of Holiness: An Examination of St. Francis' Teaching, James P. 

The Convicting Work of the Holy Spirit in the Life of a Believer, Richard T. 

David and Jonathan: An Evaluation of Their Relationship Based on 1 Samuel 

18:1-4, Bradley J. Green. 
Evolution of the Church, Ed Glasscock. 
An Examination of Luke 10:25-28, Nathan M. Zakahi. 
An Examination of the Renewing of the Mind in Romans 12:2, Leonard Max 

An Examination of the Role of the Wife Present in Ephesians 5:21-24, Keith 

E. Boyer. 
An Examination of the Significance of John's Baptism: An Analysis of the 

Historical and Synoptic Materials, Charles F. Queen. 
An Exegetical Study of "Walking with God": Genesis 5:22, 24; 6:9, Timothy L. 

The Extent of BHMA Judgment Rewards and Losses, Floyd A. Stanfill. 
The Faith-Formula Theology of Hobart E. Freeman, Barry Kutz. 
The Gideons International: Their Mission and Membership, Kelvin L. Benton. 
God's Fatherly Discipline in Hebrews 12:4-11, Stan W. Kesler. 
Harmonization of Peter's Denials, Max G. Mills. 
The Holy Spirit and the Preacher: Partners in Effective Communication, 

Matthew Meeder. 


The Identity of John the Baptist, David E. Childs. 

The Importance of Accuracy in Homiletics Training as Illustrated by the Life 

of ApoUos in Acts 18:24-28, Joel E. Giles. 
The Importance of the Presence of God in the Covenant Renewal of Exodus 

33-34, James W. Haller. 
An Inquiry into the Meaning of the Eucharistic Symbols, Mark P. Sims. 
An Interpretation of 'ENESTQIAN 'ANATKHN in 1 Corinthians 7:26, 

DeLane Miller. 
An Investigation of Paul's Headcovering Regulations in 1 Corinthians 11:2- 

16, Vance E. Christie. 
Is Ephesians 5:28-29 the Theological Basis for the Current Philosophy of 

Self-Esteem?, David L. Jodry. 
Jesus' Prohibition of the Term "Father" in Matthew 23:9, Steven D. Graham. 
The Leading of the Holy Spirit in Galatians 5:18, Daniel E. Thornton. 
Marriage as Covenant, Douglas M. McClain. 

The Nature of Unity Within Evangelical Christendom, Michael R. O'Connor. 
Pastoral Uses of the Personal Computer, David L. Gingery. 
Paul's Teaching on Anger in Ephesians 4:26, Michael C. Page. 
Philippians 4:6, 7 Symptom: Anxiety; Solution: Increased Dependency, Mark 

I. Sharp. 
The Presence of the Kingdom in the Church, Emory R. Young III. 
A Present Perspective on Physical Suffering as Seen in 2 Corinthians 12:9, 

David W. Kennedy. 
Rejoice in the Lord Always: Philippians 4:4, Daniel M. Huhn. 
The Relation of the Believer's Completeness to Christ's Completeness in 

Colossians 2:9-10, Gary E. Crandall. 
The Role of the Law in the Old and New Covenant, James Stambaugh. 
The Significance oi akoloutheo in the Gospel of Matthew, Joel G. Smith. 
The Significance of "The Sky Departed" in Revelation 6:14, James A. Maresch. 
Terms for Compatibility Between Men and Women According to Genesis 2:18, 

Daniel C. Standridge. 
A Theological Study of Leviticus 25:1-25: with Application to Modern Land 

Ethics, George E. McLaughlin, Jr. 
Thirst and Water in Revelation 21:6 and 22:17, Bryan Benjamin. 
The Training and Appointment of Pastors in the New Testament and its 

Application for Today, Stephen N. Shields. 
The Tree of Life Motif in Proverbs, James A. Beck. 
The True Source and Content of Philosophy: A Study of Colossians 2:8, Chris 

Vessels of Wrath in Romans 9:22, Carlton D. Hall. 


The Biblical Motivation for Righteous Living, William D. Hollett. 

A Contextual Methodology for Interpretation of the Parables, Ronald G. 

The Division of the Kingdom: An Act of God's Love in Preserving His People, 

Ray M. Wenger. 


An Exegetical Examination of the Elements of Eternality and Conditionality 

in the Covenant of David, Ivanildo Trindade. 
The Fear of God with Special Emphasis in the Book of Joshua, Rodney 

The Grammar of the Apocalypse and its Intentional Theological Significance, 

Tony F. Webb. 
Hezekiah's Administrative Reform and the Royal Seal Impressions, R. Scott 

The Identity of the Non-Mosaic or True Tabernacle in Hebrews 8 and 9, Peter 

Y. S. Eng. 
Intercession in Jeremiah, Joseph Arthur. 
An Investigation of the Identity and the Functions of the ITPEIBYTEPOI in 

the New Testament, Pierre M. Yougouda. 
An Investigation of Serpent SymboUsm and Numbers 21:4-9, Terry L. Van 

Matthew 5:38-39 Does Allow for Christian Self-Defense, Chester J. Sparzak. 
Making Valid Conclusions from Greek Conditional Sentences, John K. Baima. 
The Millennial Sacrifices Reconciled with the Atonement of Christ, David C. 

The Nature of Belief in the Gospel of John, Scott M. Brady. 
The Nature of the Forgiveness in the Purification Offering, Louis R. Brueggen. 
The Problem of Kingship in the Book of Judges, Kenneth A. Sponsler. 
Psalm 16, an Examination of the New Testament's Use of the Old, William J. 

The Role of 1 Kings 13 in the Condemnation of Jeroboam, Dale W. Bryant. 
The Significance of the Vine in the Interpretation of John 15:1, Chris Brown. 
Urbanization and the Dating of the Age of the Patriarchs, James D. Hannah. 


A Chronology of Matthew 24:1-44, John F. Hart. 

An Examination of the New Covenant in the Old and New Testaments, Bruce 

R. Compton. 
An Exegesis of "Filling" Texts which Refer to the Doctrine of Filling, Richard 

Gary Fairman. 
The Nature of Christ's Comings in Revelation 2-3, Dennis A. Hutchison. 

Books Reviewed 


Mouw, Richard J., When the Kings Come Marching In: Isaiah and the New 

Jerusalem (Stephen R. Schrader) 245 

Watts, John D. W., Isaiah 1-33 (George L. Klein) 246 


Bruce, F. F., The Pauline Circle (David Alan Black) 247 

Clark, Gordon H., The Pastoral Epistles (Da.\'\d Alan Black) 248 

Evans, Louis H., Hebrews, The Communicator's Commentary (Homer A. 

Kent, Jr.) 250 

Spenser, Aida Besan^on, Paul's Literary Style: A Stylistic and Historical 
Comparison of 2 Corinthians 11:16-12:13, Romans 8:9-39. and Philippians 
3:2-4:13 (David L. Turner) 251 


Bacchiocchi, Samuele, Hal Lindsey's Prophetic Jigsaw Puzzle: Five Predic- 
tions That Failed (David L. Turner) 252 

Chittick, Donald E., The Controversy: Roots of the Creation- Evolution 

Conflict (John C. Whitcomb) 254 

Horne, Charles M., The Doctrine of Salvation (David S. Dockery) 256 

Nash, Ronald, ed.. Liberation Theology and Nunez, Emilio A., Liberation 

Theology (David S. Dockery) 257 


Harder, Leland, ed., The Sources of Swiss Anabaptism (Ronald T. Clutter) . . 259 
Hughes, Phillip Edgcumbe, Lefevre, Pioneer of Ecclesiastical Renewal in 
France (James Edward McGoldrick) 261 


Harrison, Everett F., The Apostolic Church (David Alan Black) 263 

Wilson, Earl D., The Undivided Self: Bringing Your Whole Life in Line with 

God's Will (Ron Habermas) 264 



SEPT 88